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    • Under the Radar’s July 4th Sale Now On - 50% Off All Subscriptions and Back Issues
      Under the Radar is having a 50% off sale in honor of the July 4th holiday. It started this morning and runs until Monday. Visit our store here to save on subscriptions and back issues (the discount is taken at checkout). Celebrate America's independence by supporting a truly independent music magazine and website!
    • Listen: The Chemical Brothers - “EML Ritual” (feat. Ali Love)
      Back in April The Chemical Brothers announced their first new studio album in five years, Born in the Echoes, due out July 17th via longtime label Astralwerks. 
    • Under the Radar’s Tame Impala Cover Story (Plus Bonus Q&A) is Now Online
      Tame Impala are on the cover of Under the Radar's current print magazine, which is still on newsstands now. As the July 17 release date for Tame Impala's new album, Currents, is inching closer we have now posted the in-depth cover story to our website and you can read it here.
    • Justice League 3001 #1
      Justice League 3001 is a blast from the past, set in the future. Veteran DC Comics readers old enough to remember the Justice League International series of the late 1980s—or those who bought the reprinted, collected trades much more recently—surely recall the light-hearted, humorous take on the universe's greatest heroes employed by writing duo Keith G […]
    • Run the Jewels Announce Beats 1 Radio Show, First Episode to Air Tonight
      Run the Jewels (aka El-P and Killer Mike) are to have their own show on Apple Music's Beats 1 radio station. It's titled WRTJ, premieres tonight, and airs Fridays at 9 PM EST/6 PM EST. We have a clip from the show.
    • Martian Manhunter #1
      For all his manifold powers—strength, intangibility, shape-shifting, flight, telepathy, and on and on—J'onn J'onzz, aka the Martian Manhunter, is one of DC's more unfortunately overlooked heroes. Frequent Justice League stalwart (and the eternal voice of reason in the fantastic Justice League cartoon of the early 2000s), J'onn doesn' […]
    • Watch: LA Priest – “Learning to Love” Video
      LA Priest, the new solo project of former Late of the Pier frontman Sam Dust, released his debut album Inji earlier this week via Domino. In honor of that he's shared a video for one of the more electronic/dancier tracks on the record, "Learning to Love." 
    • Tame Impala - The Under the Radar Cover Story Bonus Q&A
      Kevin Parker can't take a compliment. He has just offered me his creative philosophy, explaining how artists are at their best when they move away from the parts of their craft that they've already mastered and move toward the parts that remain just beyond their reach.
    • Listen: Under the Radar’s Weekly Playlist With Beach House, Prince, Crystal Castles, & Blood Orange
      Welcome to Under the Radar's Weekly Playlist, where we compile the best tracks to debut online in the last week (or thereabouts). In this extra-long mix for the holiday weekend we've got new songs by Beach House, Crystal Castles, Prince, Blood Orange, AFX (aka Aphex Twin), Cloud Nothings X Wavves, Johnny Marr, Toro y Moi, Owen Pallett, Titus Andron […]
    • Premiere: Courtney Barnett – “An Illustration of Loneliness (Sleepless in NY)” Moshcam Video
      Back on May 15 Courtney Barnett played a hometown show at the Forum Theatre in Melbourne, Australia. The good folks over at Moshcam filmed the whole show. Today we're premiering video of one song from the show, "An Illustration of Loneliness (Sleepless in NY)." The whole show goes live on Monday, July 6, at
  • RSS Clash Music News

    • Drake Brings Out Skepta At Wireless July 4, 2015
      Drizzy loves the UK...Drake has always been careful to rep the UK. Due to play Wireless in 2014 the rapper pulled out during illness. Finally making his Wireless stand last night (July 3rd) the Canadian artist pulled out all the stops. Labelling London his “second home” Drake performed in front of a Union Flag montage. Drawing on the full force of his catalo […]
    • Premiere: Wolf Colony - 'Run' July 3, 2015
      Check it out now...Wolf Colony is an electro-pop singer with a difference. There's a masked quality here, but in his image and in the music. Glistening production allied to a sweet pop flair, Clash is able to premiere the video for 'Run'. Shot in Paris and directed by the French director Franck Gomez, you can tune in below. Buy Clash Magazine […]
    • Premiere: ADM.SKI.XXX x Lee 'Scatch' Perry ft. MC Wildflower - '3STEP4EVER' July 3, 2015
      Check it out now...The sun is shining, weather is free... Lee 'Scratch' Perry is in town. The reggae icon - who produced Bob Marley, so that's an apt quote, fact fans - is due to appear in London at the screening of a new documentary about his life and work. 'Lee Scratch Perry's Vision Of Paradise' will air tomorrow (July 4th) a […]
    • Until The Ribbon Breaks - A Lesson Unlearnt July 3, 2015
      An impressive creative statement...An inspiring, essential and powerful debut, Until The Ribbon Breaks are a band who seek deeper, transformative passion, and revive all who listen with the ability to internalise their music with depth and redemption. Psychoanalyst D.W Winnicott believed that artists possess souls driven by the tension between the desire to […]
    • Mixtape: MIAMIGO - 'Songs To Dance Alone To' July 3, 2015
      For a slightly more melancholy weekend...So, that's the weekend. For many, it'll be party central. For those less lucky, it'll no doubt be a fairly maudlin time - time spent alone, time spent secluded. If so, then keep reading, because MIAMIGO know your pain. The band's new EP 'Hard To Love' is sublime noir pop, as tasteful as i […]
    • Premiere: In-Flight Safety - 'Destroy' July 3, 2015
      Canadian rockers return...In-Flight Safety like to think big. The indie rockers have an epic swathe cut across them, a sense of grandeur which overawes. New track 'Destroy' unfurls at its own pace, akin to early Interpol or even The National. Out on July 24th, the noir-etched songwriting comes equipped with a new video. Airing for the first time on […]
    • Lockah - It Gets More Cloudy... July 3, 2015
      ...brightly lit purpose, comfort and joyLockah's weather report is the sound of many a televised 80s prom at the moment when the photo is fading or an American Dream being realised. Bold synth strokes, slapped bass and fast fingered pop dexterity are obvious pointers towards a maximalist's dream; Tom Banks' consolidating of last year's […]
    • Matrixxman - Homesick July 3, 2015
      ...a taskmaster of metronomic tech-house and technoBreaking free from dodging bullets in slo-mo, the scientifically minded Matrixxman - real name Charles Duff - is a taskmaster of metronomic tech-house and techno, and pressurised dramas caught from light years away. Atmospherically Duff can be exceptional, with widescreen visions trying to keep the Motor Cit […]
    • Premiere: Jack Grace - 'Hills' July 3, 2015
      Soul meets footwork...The frenetic percussion effect of footwork is allowing fresh ideas to seep out of electronic music. Sydney producer Jack Grace is a case in point. Ramping up his tempos, the artist sets this against of soulful samples to craft something which has a keen sense of melancholy. New cut 'Hills' is a wonderful evocation of his artis […]
    • Premiere: MAGS - 'Roots' July 3, 2015
      Sierra Leone born, London based... hugely talentedBy the time MAGS hit her teens she'd already seen more than most people should see in a lifetime. Brought up in Sierra Leone, her family were forced to flee when she was just six years old. Coming of age in a London environment both thrilling and hostile, she was surrounded by all manner of influences. S […]
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Best Albums of 2012: Delicate Steve ‘Positive Force’

Posted by falconi5 on July 11, 2012


New Jersey-based multi-instrumentalist Steve Marion, better known to music lovers as Delicate Steve, undoubtedly believes in the D.I.Y. aesthetic. Not only did he play everything on his second album, Positive Force, himself, he engineered and mixed the whole damn thing on his own. But Positive Force never feels like an airless, claustrophobic kind of project, as so many bedroom pop records by one-man bands can. Instead, it’s a light, breezy affair that seems to take its title quite literally. Steve is part of the New York-centered indie art-pop scene that includes acts like Dirty Projectors, Yeasayer, and Callers, and like them, he makes life-affirming music that’s about opening up to possibilities and embracing as many musical colors as one can comfortably keep together under one aesthetic roof. Call it “Yes Wave” as opposed to No Wave.


On Positive Force, Steve‘s muse leads him from the homey and pastoral to the spacey and celestial, but his incisive guitar work is at the core of everything. You might be tempted to label this predominantly instrumental album post-rock, but it contains none of the cerebral, lab-experiment feel sometimes associated with that tag. There’s an undeniable world music lilt to these tracks, which may be part of the reason Delicate Steve ended up on the internationally minded Luaka Bop label in the first place. If anything, it’s a pan-ethnic sensibility that plays out over the course of the record, as Hawaiian-tinged slide guitar lines tumble out over grooves that mix Caribbean and African influences with who knows what else. For what it’s worth, Steve himself actually claims that classic rock was a primary inspiration for the album. If that means the guitar lines that are the focus of each song — and sometimes they do admittedly have a George Harrison feel to them — are built to last, then it all makes perfect sense.

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