Fostercare’s hyper pulse is a direct contrast to that of many of its labelmates on Robot Elephant and the majority of witch-housers, an exciting development for those aching to escape nod-off properties and predictable climaxes. All of this would be for naught if the Marc Jason-helmed solo project didn’t seek out new ways to frame (mostly) female voices around surging beats and glistening effects, but it does; Altered Creature, in fact, is such a relentlessly restless exercise you might just want to end the session early and retreat to the coven from which you came.
Those who find the format agreeable will benefit more in the long run than those who cower in the face of its ambition, as electronic music is sprouting into so many new shapes the mud-sticks won’t know what hit them in a few years. Aside from not having the sort of time required to hop upon, and sop up like French bread, every new EDM genre that pops up, also making my job more difficult are the little moves and tricks that remind me of techno, house, the sweaty rave parties of the late 1990s, and long-nascent groups I’ve always taken pleasure in hating like Dee-Lite and Stereo MCs. Jason couples age-old motifs with other strategies, such as certain vocal manipulations, that wouldn’t have been available technology-wise to most before the year 2000, the mix of old and new sounds mingling to form a glossy, extremely UK-ish, attractive flow that always seems like it’s behind glass rather than right next to you. Artistic distance, ain’t that a bitch?
Strangely, as I normally wish electronic producers would just deliver the juice, with Fostercare I want more of those mysterious, man-behind-the-mask vocals. It’s a reassuring presence on a record that is anything but, and a stabilizing influence on a collection of songs that goes straight for the gullet. Plug in and feel the electricity.