Ain't No Party Like A Parisian Progressive-House Party: Uppermost Evolution Reviewed

4/16/14

Ok honestly, just what in the hell is in the water in Paris? I mean, sure, it's one of the most famous, beautiful, romantic, enter-your-own-superlative-here cities in the world, but that doesn't mean they should get to hoard all of the best and most cutting edge electro-house music on the planet. Not only do they get international acts like Daft Punk and Justice, but they also have the undisputed King of the Underground: Uppermost.

Born Behdad Nejatbakhshe, Uppermost doesn't get the same love his celebrity neighbors do, but he's proven to be every bit their equal with his work so far. He proves that with his latest record, Evolution, which is one of the best indie albums released this year.

Listen to the album, in its entirety (just in case the all caps didn't give that away), below. Then stick around for some words on it.

 

UPPERMOST EVOLUTION (FULL ALBUM STREAM)

This summer thousands of boring white males will descend on sports bars across this country wearing scarfs, drinking Heinekens, and pretending to have a fucking clue as to what is happening during a soccer game. This phenomenon happens every World Cup. I'm essentially about to do the same thing in regards to electro-house music and Uppermost's new record, Evolution. I'll fully admit that this type of music is not necessarily in my jam, but that didn't stop me from fully enjoying this record. And ultimately, that's what I think makes it so good.

People who otherwise couldn't give two shits about soccer spend their entire summer watching it once every four years. The reason they give usually goes something like, "I generally don't like soccer, but I'll always watch anyone who's the best in the world at what they do." There's something to be said about this justification. I, for instance, don't normally go looking for the type of music Uppermost effortlessly churns out, but if there's anyone doing this better than Mr. Nejatbakshe, it's a very short list.

From the start, Evolution grabs you with its abrasive manner. Uppermost is usually called Justice-lite, always pejoratively. I like to think of him as Justice without "D.A.N.C.E." Uppermost takes a similar punk-feel to their progressive house stylings. Evolution is fresh, dynamic, and never boring. I usually shy away from house music because (ducking) all the songs tend to sound the same. I don't have that problem when it comes to Uppermost's music. From bangers like "Format Funk" and "Street Flash" to pure EDM chaos cuts like "Breaking Time" and opener "Last Codes," there's never a dull moment on Evolution. The best songs on the records are inevitably the most disco ones. "Fly" feels destined to be played in the coolest dance clubs all summer long. Closer and my personal favorite track "Left Unsaid" is an airy disco number that I want to live in. Just a gorgeous, ethereal tune.

Whether it's your cup of tea or not, Evolution is well worth your time if you enjoy music and happiness. If you're looking for something with a little more substance in regards to Uppermost, check out the New Artist Find we did on him a few months back.

Or don't -- the choice is ultimately yours. Just know that you'll be missing out if you don't at least give Evolution a spin or five.

Rating: 8.3/10 

About Calvin Paradise

Calvin Paradise manages to live a productive life despite a childhood of home schooling and suffering from what some doctors have called the worst case of Groucho Marx's Syndrome in recorded history.