It’s been going on for more than a decade: Under cover of darkness, Matthew Dear slips out of his pop auteur guise and exorcises his demons on the dancefloor through an elusive alter-ego, Audion. Over the years, Dear has steered its sound from grime-flecked minimalism to sinewy funk to restless floor-fillers, but the project’s core ideals remain constant: a manic forward momentum, eye-popping visual aesthetic (created alongside longtime collaborator Will Calcutt), and dedication to high-class body music.
Audion first appeared in 2004 with two EPs, Kisses and The Pong, offering a hard and heavy counterpoint to the crisp microhouse of Dears breakthrough album Leave Luck to Heaven. The full scope of the Audion sound was realized on the 2005 record Suckfish, as frantic tracks like “Just Fucking” and “Your Place or Mine” presented a saw-toothed side of Matthew Dear few had seen before. In 2006, Audions subversive club anthem “Mouth To Mouth”an ever-ascending work of art with a distinctive “swarm of bees” climaxbecame the toast of that year’s DEMF. That track, still in heavy rotation among the world’s top DJs, was the pivot point, cementing Audion as a genuine force in the world of dance music. In 2009, Audion re-emerged with a retooled approach: seven sleek, propulsive singlesfrom the slow motorik pulse of “I Am the Car” to the hands-in-the-air hooks of “Look At the Moon”released over the course of the year, culminating in a club-riling A/V tour called Hecatomb.
The Audion camp fell silent soon after that worldwide run, giving the producer/singer time to release two increasingly ambitious Matthew Dear albums, as well as perform with a live band while opening arenas for Depeche Mode, Interpol, and more. Well the wait is now over: 2013 heralded Audion’s return with a career-spanning retrospective ( Audion X ) and Subverticul, a breathtaking audiovisual experience built with Vita Motus (the team behind Amon Tobins groundbreaking ISAM tour). And now, after what feels like forever, Dear is revisiting his roots with a new collection of remixes ( Mouth to Mouth 10, featuring such esteemed colleagues as Scuba, Dubfire, and Jamie Jones) and a long-awaited second album – due out summer 2016 – that brings a daunting amount of new material full circle.
“I have to admit,” explains Dear, “it was a bit daunting at one point, realizing I had this mountain of information to whittle into an album. I worried perhaps I’d gone too far, and wouldn’t be able to pull it out of the other side. The dust settled a few months ago, and the album essentially wrote itself. I hit a creative streak and remixed tracks from years ago, made some new ones in a day, and put the whole thing together in two weeks. Once I knew the plot, it was easy to connect the chapters.”