NYC-based Matthew Dear is something of a musical time bandit, a conduit between analog romanticism and digital sophistication. Since moving from Detroit to New York, his sound has become denser, more manic, brooding. A couple of his recent DJ sets veered into the spacey cacophony of psychedelic soul and freak jazz. His upcoming tour will include gigs with emotive soundscapers Tycho and Mux Mool. "Headcage," Dear's current 4-track EP on Ghostly International, sounds like a distillation of these recurrent passions. The opening title track, co-produced with Van Rivers and That Subliminal Kid (who also produced Fever Ray's debut), is an exotic incantation that slathers Dear's pitched-down vocals over blippy beats. "In The Middle (I Met You There)" featuring The Drums' Jonny Pierce lays bare the gears behind an android lullaby. "Street Song" feels like a warped R&B soundtrack for an abandoned carousel. The closing track, "Around A Fountain" radiates a similar aura, nostalgic for the past as it shuffles into the future. "Headcage" plays like a Michael Jackson demo produced by Brian Eno: ambitious pop radio from a parallel universe, one that hopefully will be explored further on Matthew Dear's upcoming album Beams.