CD, Just Records/BSMNT Records, 2008
With his anonymity purposely preserved, Metaform delivers this stunning collection of genre-bending instant classics on Just Records / BSMNT out of Japan. While claiming residency in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Tokyo, it seems this mysterious artist is adamant in maintaining his secrecy, which just adds to the allure of this release.
Fusing a multitude of genres while managing to conceive a style all his own, Metaform humbly hails his heroes and many musical influences with the title of his album ‘Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants’. Combining a rich complex blend of live instrumentation, various ’70s and ’80s movie samples, slick turntablism, skilled extractions from Soul and Funk music sources, as well as an impressive array of fractured trip-hop and drum-n-bass styled beats of Anticon proportions, Metaform’s uncanny talent to fuse these, and countless other elements, in concert with soulful and truly remarkable melodies, makes this a contagious listening experience without a doubt.
There isn’t a blemish to be found here, with each of the nineteen tracks offering their own contributions to the seamless overall groove and flow of this prolific and succulent montage. With so many astonishing moments to be heard, it’s impossible to name them all here. Most songs are relatively short in length, ranging from 1-3 minutes, but the precise track arrangements and perfect fluidity make this album feel wholly unified like very few releases I have heard before. The beautiful arrangement of looped acoustic guitars, lovely piano compositions, timely and distinctive vocal samples, head-nodding trip-hop beats, and a multitude of infectious modern melodies, give each track not only an air of sheer distinction, but lend an authentic interaction with the listener as well. There is true enchantment within these songs, each with their own unique personality that engages the listener with genuine emotion and a flood of graceful elements of nostalgia throughout.
While five years in the making, “Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants” arrives as a soulful and decidedly charming journey across decades of musical innovation that defines the true essence of a great electronic record. Admittedly this is one of the coolest albums I’ve heard in quite some time. Fans of DJ Shadow, RJD2, U.N.K.L.E., and even Four Tet are sure to fall in love with this release. I certainly did.
— Paul Nielsen