Matthew Dear built up his reputation as a producer and mixer for hire. Yet with 2004's 'Leave Luck To Heaven', he extended his oeuvre with a very melodic and intelligent take on techno-pop. The similarly-styled 'Asa Breed' should extend Dear's ever-growing circle of fans with a sound that is even more concise and commercially viable.
The oddly-titled 'Fleece On Brain' isn't the most obvious way to start but this is in fact a pop album, albeit one where the vocalist has a strange almost robotic voice. Perhaps the most obvious comparison would be Tarwater, a group adept at producing Kraftwerkesque ditties but with a modern and original twist fronted by precise Teutonic tones. 'Don And Sherri' and 'Pom Pom' showcase this formula at its infectious peak. Occasionally, Dear is guilty of lacking in humanity but 'Deserter' possesses an aura of faraway melancholia whilst 'Give Me More' shows Dear's vulnerable side, featuring the line "There's a big whole in my life" atop a rare acoustic backing; it actually sounds like an excerpt from Beck's 'Sea Change'. So by adding more dimensions to his music, Dear has once again raised the bar for techno-pop.