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Stephen Malkmus Groove Denied

Groove Denied
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"The rumours are true..." begins the press release breathlessly. Well, thank fudge for that. I thought I'd go to my grave with Stephen Malkmus's solo album still just a will-o'-the-wisp fantasy on the horizon.

But fear not, kids. Malkmus is back and this time it's electronic. Groove Denied is the first solo outing from the dad of lo-fi nineties indie. Since leaving Pavement, he's lived in Berlin for a bit, gone for a bop at some nightclubs and discovered Ableton Live.

Look, it's not a terrible album

Would it be 'off-base' or 'overly cute', ponders said press release, to describe Groove Denied as Malkmus's Low? Yes. What are you on? I went to a nightclub once and Berlin is high on my to-do list, but that doesn't make me David bleeping Bowie. Back in your box, puff hype.

Look, it's not a terrible album. It's just not good. It's definitely not that good. Some tracks are nice, but nothing jumps out. Malkmus is clearly excited to blend his rough-and-ready rock roots with the new digital age, enthusing about drum machines and other drag-and-drop wizardry. But this is synth music with the stabilisers left on. It's just not as interesting as he thinks, the sonic equivalent of that bloke at the pub who traps you with his hot take on millennials.

Our gushing envoy signs off with a tweet from the man himself: "We long 4 transformation....and we humans fucking luv tools." Well, quite. Just nobody break the news to him about the wheel yet, OK?

Sarah Sharp

Next article in issue 132

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