It’s been going on for nearly a decade: Under cover of darkness, Matthew Dear slips out of his usual guise as pop-music innovator and exorcises his dancefloor demons through his constantly shifting alter-ego, Audion. Over the years, Dear has steered the Audion sound from grime-flecked minimalism to sinewy funk to relentless floor-fillers and back, but Audion’s core remains constant: an itchy forward momentum, an eye-popping visual aesthetic, and a dedication to high-class body music.
Audion first appeared in 2004 with two EPs, Kisses and The Pong, which offered a harder-edged counterpoint to the crisp microhouse of Dear’s eponymous tracks at the time. 2005’s full-length Suckfish unveiled the full scope of the Audion sound, as tracks like “Just Fucking” and “Your Place or Mine” presented an aggressive, sonically serrated side of Matthew Dear few had seen before. In 2006, Audion’s subversive club anthem “Mouth To Mouth”—an ever-ascending work of art with a distinctive “swarm of bees” climax—became the toast of that year’s DEMF. That track, still in heavy rotation among the world’s top DJs, was the pivot point, cementing Audion as a genuine force in the world of dance music. In 2009, Audion re-emerged with a retooled approach: seven sleek, propulsive singles—from the slow motorik pulse of “I Am the Car” to the hands-in-the-air energy of “Look At the Moon”—released over the course of the year, culminating in Hecatomb, Audion’s acclaimed worldwide A/V tour.