If I say that Maed Meva – Figures is an extremely enjoyable experimental album, would I hurt the artists’ feelings by doing that? Because I’m used to thinking of “enjoyable experimental” as an oxymoron, I was pretty comfortable with the idea of people creating abstract music just to see what happens if they put certain sounds together (I know I’m talking out of my ass right now, you can tell that I’m not a huge fan of experimental music). And before you actually listen to Figures, you would think that this is exactly what you’re in for – with its gray cover art and all tracks (except for the bonus) called “Figure [#]” this EP from tiny but mighty Polish *export label doesn’t indicate that it’s actually a very fun record. Not “party rock is in the house tonight” kind of fun (and I can’t believe I just typed this quote without a gun being pressed to the back of my head), but the kind of fun that you experience when you’re doing something super-nerdy and requiring some specific kind of knowledge and you’re really good at it, and everyone around you thinks that this smug grin on your face is a manifestation of superiority over them dummies but it’s really just an honest smile of enjoyment. So am I saying that Figures is a nerdy album? I guess so. I totally see the creative duo behind the album – beatmaker Maed and turntablist Meva – spending days digging through old records and nights recording in a studio crammed with all kinds of audio equipment. This doesn’t mean that Figures could be only enjoyed by electronica nerds (even though they will surely get more kick out of it) – it’s like new electronic gadgets – built by nerds, enjoyed by everyone. It’s abstract, yes, but the tracks are figures – not shapeless blotches – they are well structured and have very distinct outlines while not serving any particular purpose. Every weird sample (and there are plenty of those) is framed into solid beat and every instrumental part is heartily seasoned with the illest scratching, and none of those elements are random. It’s a geometric theorem of a record – you enjoy the frack out of it if you understand, and if you don’t, you will still appreciate all the fun shapes.
Maed Meva – Figures (as well as lots of other quality stuff) is available for free from *export label.