Stumbleine
Spiderwebbed


3.5
great

Review

by Jonny Hunter CONTRIBUTOR (103 Reviews)
November 17th, 2012 | 33 replies | 2,506 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A stylistic dead end, in a good way.

It’s safe to say that after a series of increasingly dull EPs, the idea of a Stumbleine full-length wasn’t particularly exciting. Up to this point, there were many who’d begun to dismiss the style as a whole as stagnant: seemingly safe in the knowledge that there was nothing left for this sugary sweet, dubstep-inspired strain of downtempo. But in surprise to all and not least myself, it seems that Stumbleine has batted down all misconceptions. Spiderwebbed shines as a glimmer of hope for the genre, and the best thing Stumbleine’s ever produced.

To break down Stumbleine’s style into its core components, take ambient music as your starting point. Now make it a little poppier and melodic, be sure to ramp reverb and echo as far as they’ll go before laying on vocal samples, and finally reinforce it with light clicks and claps to a rough 2-step format. When done right, the music that comes out of this process has the rare and desirable quality of being simultaneously relaxing and catchy in a very ‘I want to listen to that loop for a week straight’ way.

Previously, Stumbleine ran into issues by filtering his tracks through a chill-out membrane so fine that there was often not much to hold onto at the end, but if Spiderwebbed shows anything it’s that he’s learned from his mistakes. Tracks still abide by a very tight set of rules, but enough rope is given for them to retain individual personalities: whether this be the confused, hurried rush of ‘Kaleidoscope’ or the more plodding and semi-lustful air of ‘If You.’ Such a stylised album cannot really escape some level of polarisation, but this is a change much closer to a slight fine-tuning than turning a completely new leaf, and hearing Stumbleine’s style finally click into place is immensely satisfying.

So more of a general improvement than any reinvention, then, but it’s still a sound that remains distinctively his. Any motive for sticking to his signature style is confirmed when noting that two of his collaborations (‘The Beat my Heart Skips’ and ‘Fall into You’) mark the more tattered points of Spiderwebbed, as well as the places where Stumbleine seems most at risk of falling into his old ways. It seems like he’s much more comfortable with exploring the style on his own, and as a result there’s plenty more to make up for these minor steps back. For example, ‘Cherry Blossom’ mixes smooth, fluid beats and synths with contrastingly jagged vocals to create a surprisingly punchy opener, and the initial hint that Stumbleine’s LP is a different beast to his old work.

With Spiderwebbed, Stumbeine has improved his style to the best it can possibly be. With only a couple of exceptions, tracks are tighter and more involving than ever, but an open question is raised about the future of Stumbleine’s solo work. With time-learned restraint and an aptitude built by five EP’s-worth of practice, he’s finally mastered a style; so what direction is he going to choose next?



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user ratings (19)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
November 17th 2012



2714 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

http://www.muzikdizcovery.com/

Typhoner
November 17th 2012



789 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Well, since this guy is a Swarms member I probably need to take a look at this.

Review was interesting (in a good way), pos'd.

Digging: Inigo Kennedy - Vaudeville

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
November 17th 2012



9959 Comments


Yes, awesome album covered by awesome guy. Doubly awesome.

I was so intent on reviewing this, but then i forgot it existed...

Digging: Deniro Farrar - Rebirth

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
November 17th 2012



2714 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I almost forgot until 12/11/12 and my library became unavailable. We shall not forget... :'(

I was so happy that this album works - it would have been incredibly depressing if it was bad.

And thanks, both of you

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
November 17th 2012



6315 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Tbh, this guy released so much stuff this year, I don't give a fuck anymore...

Digging: Sully - Blue

Typhoner
November 17th 2012



789 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Doesn't matter for me, didn't hear anything yet so...

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
November 17th 2012



6315 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

On the other hand (after reading the review - nice work btw), guess I'll give it a try.

Typhoner
November 17th 2012



789 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

go to review, post comment without reading it

It's all too familiar

Typhoner
November 17th 2012



789 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Liking this so far btw. Very Swarms-ish, obviously.

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
November 17th 2012



6315 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"go to review, post comment without reading it"

Yeah, helps as a reminder to read it afterwards, if I have the time.

Typhoner
November 17th 2012



789 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

If a review is long I usually skip to reading the comments, and if those say "good review dude", I end up reading the review, haha

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
November 17th 2012



6315 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

^ Well, yeah.

This is great btw. Not as good as Drifting Youth (because of the length actually), but it's a relaxing listen.

CaptainDooRight
November 17th 2012



28297 Comments


bro ur so contrib worthy

pos on rev

I'm so happy today because its raining nd I have lots of weed :]

Digging: IQ - The Road of Bones

mindleviticus
November 17th 2012



8148 Comments


Jah this iz good :]

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
November 17th 2012



2714 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

ta.

and fuck me I was going to work today but it's a little late now...

GiaNXGX
November 17th 2012



4867 Comments


looks interesting, great review man.

Rail
November 17th 2012



489 Comments


Sheesh, another release? I'm betting this is vanilla.

Digging: Tipper - Forward Escape

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
November 17th 2012



2714 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeh, Stumbleine's been a busy boy.

Rail
November 17th 2012



489 Comments


I might give this a go, considering your review. My problem with Stumbleine is that his music is unwaveringly 'nice', and is too content in its own vacuousness.

Still pretty though.

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
November 17th 2012



2714 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Mm, I know what you mean, but this is a small step away from the *pretty shiny lights* into something more substantial.



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