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It didn't take long for Matthew Dear to catapult himself into the front rank of microhouse producers, emerging in the early 2000s with a string of high-quality releases for Spectral Sound, Plus 8, and Perlon. Dear broke out in 2003 with the singsongy single "Dog Days," at once a DJ favorite and something of an indie crossover, and continued to switch between (and sometimes fuse together) track- and song-oriented material. He wasn't just a constantly evolving producer but a DJ and a hard-working performing artist as well, a key driving force behind the success of Ann Arbor, Michigan's Ghostly International/Spectral Sound axis.
Born and raised in Texas, Dear first discovered electronic music at age 16; he later attended the University of Michigan, where he met future Ghostly International label founder Sam Valenti IV. He started DJing at parties and eventually moved into production. In late 1999, he and Daisha (aka Disco D) teamed up to deliver the inaugural Ghostly 12" release, "Hands Up for Detroit." Its speedy disco-house sound remains an outlier in Dear's discography. Dear wound up on Ghostly's more dance-oriented subsidiary Spectral Sound, for which he debuted in 2001 with the lean techno 12" "Irreparably Dented"; another, "Stealing Moves," followed in 2002. That year, Dear signed to Richie Hawtin's Plus 8 label, where he issued some of his most stripped-down productions as False.
Dear's busiest year yet was 2003. His first False singles were compiled on a self-titled disc. As Jabberjaw, he released the playful "Girlfriend" 12" on Berlin's Perlon label, and returned to Spectral Sound for EP1 and EP2 that summer. In November, he released his first true full-length album, Leave Luck to Heaven, also on Spectral Sound. Titled after the loose English translation of the word "Nintendo," the album earned positive notice from a number of publications and was led by the highly acclaimed single "Dog Days."
The following year, he issued Backstroke and the "Anger Management" single and initiated his Audion alias -- a vehicle for aggressive and challenging techno -- with a pair of 12" releases for Spectral Sound. Audion dominated Dear's next couple years, which involved an album (Suckfish), a handful of singles, and the Fabric 27 mix. Also in 2006, Dear's "Hands Up for Detroit" was sampled by Netherlands-based producer Fedde Le Grand for "Put Your Hands Up 4 Detroit," a pervasive club hit of 2006-2007. Asa Breed, billed as the proper full-length follow-up to Leave Luck to Heaven, was issued in June 2007 and stuck to sparse, song-based avant pop.
As Dear kept Audion active and revived Jabberjaw, he recorded another album of strange songs in the form of Black City, released in August 2010. Slowdance, issued in 2011 and billed as an EP, collected nine remixes and added "Innh Dahh," Black City's digital bonus track. In 2012, the four-track Headcage EP and "Her Fantasy" single preceded the Beams album. Dear's productions were growing increasingly unique and adventurous.
Matthew Dear (born April 4, 1979, Kingsville, Texas, United States) is an American music producer, DJ and electronic avant-pop artist.
Texas-born Dear moved to Michigan as a teenager, where he was inspired by the sound of Detroit Techno. Dear met Sam Valenti IV at a party while attending the University of Michigan, after which the two started the record label, Ghostly International, based on a shared love of electronic music. Dear’s first single was 1999’s "Hands Up For Detroit" (co-produced by ghettotech pioneer Disco D, who performed under the name Daisha). Successive singles, such as "Stealing Moves" and the chart-topping "Mouth to Mouth" (as Audion) were issued on Spectral Sound, Ghostly’s offshoot that focuses on dancefloor music.
Dear’s first album Leave Luck to Heaven appeared in 2003 and was praised widely as a seminal fusion of pop and minimal techno. The album’s single "Dog Days" became one of Spectral’s best sellers and a favorite of international DJs like Richie Hawtin. Dear followed the album with Backstroke in 2004 and has also begun working under the harder-edged Audion alias, apart from additional monikers False and Jabberjaw.
In 2007, Matthew Dear released his sophomore full length, Asa Breed. Matthew and his band, Matthew Dear's Big Hands then began a US promotional tour and a European tour as the opening act for Hot Chip. 2008 saw the re-release of Asa Breed as the Asa Breed Black Edition. This re-release added 5 new songs, including a remix of Don and Sherri from Hot Chip and the video for the song, shot in downtown New York City.
Matthew Dear's fourth album, Black City, was released on August 17, 2010. It conceptualizes a futuristic metropolis that never sleeps. Dear describes 'Black City': "Well, there's a kind of timelessness to it in the sense that I don't want things to run on a 24-hour clock. It seems like a city that's always awake, maybe always dialled in electronically, and cannot be turned off. It's this imaginary weird never-sleeping town. But yeah it's full of lust, and love, and dark shadows. Weird things around the corner…"
In 2010, Dear opened for Interpol, performing on their first three dates in the UK.
Dear has listed Talking Heads, David Bowie, Adonis, Nitzer Ebb, and Roman Flügel as inspirations.
When asked who he is influenced by as Matthew Dear, "Definitely I'm influenced by Brian Eno and a lot of his work. I've said it before but he is one that is so interesting to listen to on all formats whether it be his production with other bands, whether it's his solo work or whether it's his collaboration work with other artists. He's probably the number one."