It seems that the latest trend in music is blending
pop and IDM. This makes sense, i suppose. IDM has been a rabidly
experimental genre. IDMers like Plaid,
Autechre, and Aphex Twin
have done musical things with software that are both new and
exciting. However, sometimes the music has been, well, difficult.
It takes some effort, some sort of deep music appreciation,
to enjoy much of the hardcore IDM, and so other people have
begun taking the experimentalism of laptop music and adding
it to more pleasant melodies and, i think most importantly,
In a way, this is also the natural evolution of home recording. Instead of a 4-track, a simple Apple PowerBook and the right software can give any stoner with a dream the chance to record their own album. And the IDM laptoppers served as a sort of inspiration, producing album after album alone in their flats surrounded only by computers.
How does this relate to Tex La Homa, you ask? Well, quite simply,
If Just Today Were To Be My Entire Life is one
of the best IDM/pop fusion albums that i have heard to date.
It's as poppy as either The Notwist's Neon
Golden or The
Postal Service's album.
Tex La Homa is a one-man project. Matt Shaw does all the programming, plays the guitar, and does the vocals. And he does a wonderful job of it. He has crafted a collection of toe-tapping tunes with hummable melodies and computer-mangled beats.
There are no snoozers on the album, but several tunes really stand out from the crowd. Closer to You, which opens the album, starts off with a lightly glitched drum beat and effected guitar. The guitar builds slowly until eventually Shaw's vocals come in. It's a nicely done tune that slowly turns into a catchy melody.
The distortion and glitch continues on the next track, Of Electronic Origin,
which ends up sounding like Her
Space Holiday. But the next tune goes off in a totally different
direction. In The Clouds is a wonderful epic track of
chiming guitars and spacey electro noises. Really nice. Likewise,
Petroleum starts slow and delicate and builds to become
a simply lovely little tune.
There is one very "different" song on the album. Wrote to Say is built
out of tinkling keys and a throbbing rave beat. It builds very
nicely, but is an odd interlude on the disc. It reminds me very
much of the work of Jetone
in that it is good, rave-oriented IDM. Very odd, since most
of the rest of the disc is laptopped guitar pop. I guess this
is his nod to his precursors. As such, it's not bad at all.
Those are just the standouts, but none of the songs are boring. In fact, they are all catchy and built out of minimal elements: a bit of guitar, Shaw's delicate voice, and some electronic background sounds. He has a real ear for melody, and he plays with his basic formula enough to keep the songs varied.
Overall, i am rather impressed with If Just Today Were To Be My Entire
Life. It was actually my 11th favorite
release for 2003, but i have had a devil of a time writing
about it. I have no idea why, it was just hard to write about
At any rate, if you like Her
Space Holiday, The Notwist,
The Postal Service,
Lali Puna, or any
of those types of bands, then Tex La Homa is something you should
definitely pick up.