Vapor City

Metascore
73

Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 15
  2. Negative: 1 out of 15
  1. Sep 26, 2013
    80
    There’s no denying the worth of the latter sort, but the electrifying nature of the first cut comes as a bit of a tease, setting you up for a (albeit nicely ambient) fall.
  2. Oct 21, 2013
    70
    There is not much here that jumps out of the speakers, or that makes you want to scream with excitement; instead it is a release that slowly gets under your skin, and most importantly, doesn’t force its concept down your throat.
  3. Sep 27, 2013
    70
    On Vapor City, Machinedrum steers clear of dramatic style makeovers, opting to focus on sharpening his craft while leaving the listener with a collection of songs that operates on pure magnetism and unbridled confidence.
  4. 80
    On paper Vapor City looked like Stewart’s descent into a sump of his own pompousness; in reality it’s anything but.
  5. Sep 27, 2013
    80
    It’s an ethereal experience from start to finish, Machinedrum eschewing his love of UK funky, future garage, r’n’b, footwork and other low-end strains in order to concentrate on lush, rhythmic, utterly transportive productions.
  6. 70
    An overly soft mid-section ('Center Your Love', 'Vizion') reveals that chillout-esque pleasantness isn't Stewart's forte, but that's not to say this album's only good when the whipcrack snare madness takes hold.
  7. Sep 26, 2013
    80
    While moments on Vapor City might have sounded completely at home at a 1996 rave, the mood and sound overall are more wistfully nostalgic than retro.
  8. Oct 1, 2013
    78
    It's the intricate musical subtleties Stewart weaves through them that blow your hair back.
  9. Q Magazine
    Oct 16, 2013
    60
    A dense sci-fi metropolis, rich in atmosphere, but light in the edge and unpredictability of urban life. [Nov 2013, p.111]
  10. Oct 11, 2013
    80
    What really marks Machinedrum's growth are the moments that subtly push Stewart's sound into small stylistic corners only hinted at before.
  11. Dec 11, 2013
    70
    Here the rhythms veer toward rolling drum and bass breaks, and the mood is a lot more relaxed.
  12. 85
    It’s an ambitious enterprise--and one that Stewart tackles in a number of remarkable ways.
  13. Sep 30, 2013
    60
    More often than not, [the tracks] are the kind to dutifully admire and find interesting, rather than lose yourself to on a dancefloor--much of this record sags with chill-out longueur
  14. Sep 30, 2013
    30
    When it’s watered down by this much sneakerhead aestheticism, it becomes hard to even hear the culture-shaking subversion that lurked in the sounds of Machinedrum’s influences.
  15. Oct 1, 2013
    80
    It's a different, and more unique effort [than Rooms(s)]. Moreover, the LP doesn't look outside of itself to the same extent that its predecessor did.

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