In 2010, Travis Stewart, the man behind Machinedrum gave you two options. There was Rooms, his juke-inspired chop-shop of a record that inspired raves from Son Raw and his diss of “Moombahton malarkey.” Biden was rumored to have stolen this phrase for use in his debate against Paul Ryan, but sources revealed at the last second that the VP candidate was more of a Rage man.
Stewart’s other assault was Sepalcure, a duo who made music ostensibly inspired by romance novels written by ghosts, the time that Burial took them whale watching (for field recording purposes), and a hundred raves scarcely remembered. Sach preferred the tear-the-club-up tracks, I preferred the alone in my room lighting candles shit. Division of labor. Back under the Machinedrum alias, Stewart has returned with “Whatnot,” taken from Low Limit’s Ouroborus compilation for Innovative Leisure (11/27, set your sun dials).
The Ouroborus was the serpent of myth with two heads that devoured itself. When you hear music like this, the symbolism becomes clearer. There is a sense of infinity to it, like walking into an abandoned house, expecting to find life but only finding floorboards and emptiness. A chorus chimes “Drifting all away” endlessly for six and a half minutes until there’s nothing left. Song ends.
Impossible to listen to music like this without giving it some context, whether climate or season. With the approaching holidays, this feels alienating and isolating. A song to sulk to in silence. No one in the house. No tree. No tinsel. Only the snakes. Or what not.
MP3: Machinedrum – “Whatnot’