Prolific Bristol producer Stumbleine has always had a penchant for the dark, sentimental side of this new wave of electronic music. Pairing his heavily pitch-shifted vocal samples with Hammock-esque ambient guitar and thick trip-hop beats straight out of the Sun Glitters playbook, Stumbleine continually resurfaces and reforms, releasing EP’s, singles, and full-lengths’ worth of moody dream pop. His new album Spiderwebbed was just released today, but what we’re here to praise is the short July release The Night Before, which is kind of like an EP, featuring four solid entries and a cover at the end. Having evolved from very shoegaze-influenced early work to a pronounced experimental R&B phase, Stumbleine’s newest offerings are continually honed to a perfect point of emotional ambience, largely piano- and guitar-driven. Heavily processed vocals still abound—thank god—as the artist uses them to such great effect, revealing an otherworldly yearning and impassioned crooning present in tracks such as “Glacier”. The clunky found sounds that comprise the percussion create a very pronounced downtempo mood, in addition to the atmospheric tracks that waft in and out, setting the scene with rain drops pitter-pattering on the roof of a chalet or the sounds of a crowd cheering triumphantly. The true gem on The Night Before, in our collective opinion, however, is the stark opener, “Strawberry Blonde”, featured above. An unofficial remix of Southern Shores’ sunny Balearic jam “Night Is Young”, the Stumbleine version completely reinvents the tune, trading in tropical samba sounds for ominous candlelight lullabies. The vocal samples are really the only things that resemble the original work at all, and this refix stands very strong in its own light (or lack thereof). There’s even a very clean-sounding cover of Radiohead’s timeless hit “Fake Plastic Trees” at the end of the collection to lead the listener out. We would love to recommend Stumbleine’s second most recent release, The Night Before, so do tha right thing and fetch a download of it for only ₤2.50 (about $4) over at his Bandcamp page. Afterwards, check out his back catalog, especially Ghosting and Sunshine Girls. Fans of ambient, downtempo, dream pop, shoegaze, trip-hop, and witch house all have a place reserved around Stumbleine’s warm bonfire.
I don’t think anyone who’s ever heard Pogo has ever straight up disliked the guy’s work. Even the people who aren’t crazy about sample based music probably at least appreciate what he does or find it novel. Dreamsploitation showed up on a generated list of artists whose work is similar in tone and form to Pogo’s, so I figured I’d give it a stab yesterday, and everything came up roses. Chuck Blazevic’s (Dreamsploitation) world is an ambient electronic world populated by sparse masses of guitar plucking, but at least 70% of which is starry synth noodling, steam, and atmospherics. “You Will Never Get to Heaven” is the offspring of a threeway between Sam Prekop’s solo electronic work, Hammock’s more recent ambient fare, and most of the Star Haven BGM on the “Paper Mario” soundtrack for Nintendo 64. Featured on his 2011 full-length Possibles, do tha right thing, and spend the next six minutes in chrysalis, enjoying Dreamsploitation’s “You Will Never get to Heaven”, and grab that album at a price of your own choosing here, if it suits you. It’s like what I imagine the soundtrack to “Le Petit Prince” would sound like, if Michel Gondry decided to make that his next project. Damn, that’s a great idea.