You’re Dead!

Warp Records


Steven Ellison is among a small pantheon of electronic artists (including Burial and Aphex Twin) whose work is utterly unique, instantly recognisable, and sometimes indescribable. This latest long-player – a concept album celebrating death, its aftermath and the confusion around it – continues the paradox of retro jazz stylings and psychedelic jams coupled with innovative beats and pioneering rhythms that signals an artist who is hurtling into the future with eyes (and ears) firmly fixed on the past. It will infuriate some but electrify many more.

Never Catch Me is an early highlight. Laid-back lounge grooves are juxtaposed against Kendrick Lamar’s rapid fire vocals before dropping straight into the lo-fi Gameboy bleeps of Dead Man’s Tetris with Ellison’s alter ego Captain Murphy guesting.

Evoking a dreamlike state, each track segues into the next, with the hiss and crackle of an age-old 78. The listener is a willing passenger as the song-snippets and melodious rushes transport them to a mystical dopamine-fuelled brain fug, Moment Of Hesitation being a case in point.

There is a feeling of deflation when it’s all over. Perhaps it’s apt that we finish on the exquisite The Protest with it’s ‘We will live on forever’ refrain, as, for the initiated, this one’s a keeper.

4 stars