Vapor City cover

Vapor City


A glitch-hop deconstructionist at the turn of the 2000s and a bass-music-steeped dancefloor manipulator a decade later, Travis Stewart’s approach under his Machinedrum alias has always been an accumulative one. That goes for his influences, the most future-funky of which manifested fully in his Ninja Tune debut Vapor City: on offer is junglist freneticism retrofitted to hit with a post-Burial wistfulness (“Gunshotta”), delicate melodicism playing out in gauzy slo-mo over high-BPM mergings of juke and drum’n’bass rhythms (“Infinite Us”), and post-dubstep art-dance with all the hauntological emotional uplift of Boards of Canada’s brighter moments (“Center Your Love”). But it also applies to the way he actually shapes his tracks, letting the smeared vocal hooks and beat-builds pile up in waves that forego wait-for-the-drop obviousness in favor of relentless refractions that peak and peak and peak some more.

Nate Patrin

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