i am robot and proud



    "Another exquisite collection of intricate electro-pop chimes and microrythms from Canadian sound artist Shaw-Han Liem. Isn't this what music was supposed to sound like in the future?" - THE WIRE

    "The Electricity in Your House Wants to Sing is a brilliant pop effort from the young Toronto native. It's difficult to pick the track that makes my heart the happiest — the analog bursts and fairy chirps of "When I Get My Ears" or the whistling synths and merry percussion of "Center Cities." Slick textures and oscillating harmonies fall into place as each track flows into the next, with Liem's sharp production transforming Electricity's 11 beautiful head bobbers into one seemingly colossal number that never loses its sparkle." - SAN FRANCISCO GUARDIAN

    "The vibrancy that pours out of his hands are the result of careful study and preparation, a desire to fuse every instrument together into one great instrument capable of taking any influence and running with it... his arrangements stand out as being great examples of how technology can really bring together a variety of ideas, places, influences, and thoughts without sacrificing any of the particular qualities inherent in each." - BRAINWASHED

    "I Am Robot and Proud's Shaw-Han Liem developed his sound parallel to the avant-electronic/IDM scene, and so his approach -- privileging intricate melodic structures and incorporating live instrumentation without doing so ostentatiously -- is both unassuming and original. The pretty piano notes that stumble and recover on the opening moments of The Electricity in Your House Wants to Sing give an indication of what's to come: a deceptive fragility, an unforced brightness and a sense of whimsy that's never overly sweet. It also renders irrelevant which side of the pop/electronic divide the Sea Snakes/Jim Guthrie band member is on; he quite determinedly follows his own muse. A tiny perfect album." - EYE WEEKLY

    "Effortlessly pretty instrumental electronic pop, sunny and almost whimsical, yet tasteful and restrained. It sounds sincere and unpretentious. Rather than focus on experimentation for its own sake, he leads with his sense of melody and graceful keyboard playing, using synths and programming as additional weapons in his arsenal of sound, which this time around also includes woodwinds, guitars and drums to ornament his own programmed beats and collection of keyboards." - NOW

    "An 11-track collection of energising, playful sounds and percussives that, despite their experimental underbelly, are closer to a hybrid of pop and electronica than what is often termed IDM. Full of charming ditties and blended keyboard harmonics, tracks such as When I Get My Ears, The Scholars And The Travellers and Places We’re Trying To Find are irresistibly fragile and elegant, whilst Liem has the good sense to throw in the occasional diversion, such as the mysteriously organic, guitar-laden flux of Neil Lake." - BARCODE (UK)

    "Liem gets the formula down effortlessly every time, working his way through melodies that inspire a nearly adolescent sense of wonder and optimism from start to finish, arranging them in such a way that it's hard to remember that music filled with such emotions emanates from cold machinery. This is a record that will appeal to not only fans of electronic music, but any of the indie pop that has come out in the past few years." - ALL MUSIC

    "The master engineer behind I Am Robot and Proud, Shaw-Han Liem, has created a whole new world of Electronica in The Electricity In Your House Wants To Sing where all of the creatures dance and trot to the rhythm of their own beat, but always meet in harmony. This eleven track microcosm of polyrhythmic pop will venture you through this wonderful world. That's it. I'm in this crazy electronic world." - TREBLE

    "It’s difficult to place the sound of Shaw-Han Liem’s I Am Robot and Proud but it’s impossible not to lose one’s self in his majestic brand of atmospheric electro pop. The former Sea Snake has created the perfect metropolitan soundtrack with Electricity, whose bouncy rhythms and floating melodies slyly nest in one’s sub-conscience. The orchestral manoeuvres of the title track set a bubbling tone for “When I Get My Ears,” which features the incognito drumming of Evan Clarke (BRIAD, Jim Guthrie). Jeremy Strachan’s woodwinds are in great shape on “Save Your Neck, Save Your Brother,” and the record pogos delightfully on “Me vs. Heidi,” a collaboration between Liem and Heidi Hazelton. As a proud robot, Liem may not technically need friends but they do bolster his melodious bleeps and beats on this cerebral, gorgeous dose of contemporary electronica." - EXCLAIM

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    grace days

    "Liem works small miracles in the studio, arranging tiny slivers of sound into glistening electropop constructions that blend harmonic balance and stasis with restless change and constant motion. Sounding bolder, and with punchier sequencing on tracks like 'The Mood You're In' and 'Mexico City', the only thing missing is the right videogame to play along with it." - THE WIRE

    "No matter how many machines are employed here, ‘Grace Days’ is full of human heart. Slow and fragile, yet with a certain joyful abandon, I Am Robot And Proud emits electro-pop with playground beats and softly-stroked guitars, like Isan lacing-up a pair of suitably dapper dancing shoes." - COMES WITH A SMILE

    "A beautiful collection of intricate aural tapestries, bolstered by deep bass and pulsing rhythms. From the deliciously slow grind of “Winter at Night” to the elegant glockenspiel odyssey of “Learn From Mistakes,” Liem dazzles the listener as much as he soothes. The perfect soundtrack for counting stars, hot baths, or falling in love with your computer." - EXCLAIM

    "Shaw-Han Liem proves that he's a real master at assembling complex and sweetly melodic structures from the most rudimentary of sonic material. His moniker does not deceive, as most of the sounds employed are cutely robotic, warm analog noises neatly layered and instantly catchy, but equally agile and quickly modified. No two songs sound alike, though all bear the mark of an unabashed and irreducable, if not quite unique, melodic sensibility. I am still discovering new moods and hidden treasures in Grace Days; at just under 40 minutes, it is a surprisingly effective therapeutic tool, sure to be spun frequently as long as the gray skies loom." - BRAINWASHED

    "Melody, melody, melody. Not a minute passes on Grace Days without something catchy and instantly hummable appearing in the mix. There are no truly weak tracks here, but Liem is most successful when an arrangement's acoustic instruments are accented and encouraged to brush up warmly against the electronic backbone that directs the album's ebb and flow. Grace Days' intelligent mix of organic and industrial sounds proves that electronic music must always have a heart. It's the sound of winter falling upon quiet cities, lovers looking into one another's eyes, children playing with toys on Christmas morning and a talented musician knowing exactly what we want to hear and when we want to hear it." - SPLENDID ZINE

    "'Friction On Teeth' starts out slowly with bips and bloops and a soft beat, but towards the end it speeds up into an incredibly joyous song that will get your head bobbing every time you hear it. 'Quick Life' is another smiling track full of chimes, chirps, and bopping beats. It's songs like these that manage to make me feel a bit better about everything, and I'd be surprised to find someone who wasn't warmed up by them." - OPUS MUSIC REVIEW

    "While many best-of-year lists praised the laptop-pop triumphs of Manitoba and The Postal Service, Mississauga-bred electronic alchemist I Am Robot and Proud (a.k.a. Shaw-Han Liem, also of indie-rockers Sea Snakes) quietly released a late-season masterwork in Grace Days." - EYE MAGAZINE

    "Bei diesem Roboter kann man sich immer freuen, zumal er auch immer besser wird und seine kleinen, spritzigen Tracks einfach Freude machen und auch nur dazu gemacht sind, was hier gar nicht negativ gemeint ist. Dieser Roboter ist eine Melodiemaschine, soviel ist klar. Ohne Rücksicht auf Verluste erfindet hier jeder Track neue, kleine Wunderwelten, die irgendwie längst nicht mehr so elektronisch klingen, wie wir es von früher her noch kennnen. Vielmehr denke ich irgendwie an eine ganz reduzierte Version von Mouse On Mars, wenn die kein Equipment hätten oder benutzen dürften. Alles sehr quirky und doch immer geradeaus. Fein und lecker. Das ist Pop von heute.." - THADDI HERMANN, DE:BUG

    "Sublime in every way, ‘Grace Days’ is one of those rare albums perfect for any mood, whether it’s for serious listening or simply background music, you just can’t fail with this package. There’s no overly long or tedious pieces, Robot have hit on the right formula and utilise it well to their advantage. A lovely album full of many surprises, which leave you begging for more." - ANGRY APE

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    the catch

    "Canadian sound artist Shaw-Han Liem creates glittering electro-pop instrumentals of great introspective charm. Bright, playful, and always accessible, like Tezuka-sensei's robot boy hero, this is music that celebrates the joys of electronic living. Machine codes, precise measures, andbusily preoccupied ciphers maintain a steady but unassuming background chatter while Liem quietly lays down a friendly pattern of sharp dance beats." - THE WIRE

    "The official debut from Shaw-Han Liem, alias I Am Robot And Proud. Immediately you run into problems trying to decide what genre it is - because it's really too focussed to be experimental, and just too plain fun to be 'intelligent'. But this particular take on robotpop sure doesn't sound to me like anyone else who actually uses that word to describe their music - fellow Canadians Solvent and Lowfish, for instance. Funny, cute little chimes combine with hi-pitched electric pianos and gentle organs, electro blips, beeps and pings to create a unique lo-fi-but-lush sound. The Catch also dares to be something that electronic music never usually aims at: romantic. In fact, it's beautiful. The only shame about this gorgeous release is that at eight tracks it's only just over half-an-hour long. That aside, I can't understand why Shaw-Han Liem isn't world famous. " - EM411.COM

    "On his debut full-length release, Toronto's I Am Robot and Proud (Shaw-Han Liem) shows why he was become one of the most popular electronic acts in the city since his debut less than two years ago. His bubbling and quirky take on IDM is warm, melodic, and playful without being lightweight or fluffy. As a result it's damn near impossible to listen to tracks like 'Saturday Afternoon Plans', 'The Heart of Things' or the sublime title track without cracking a smile. In a genre that is often on the verge of collapsing under a ton of seriousness and self-importance, it's truly refreshing to find joyful gems like this album which is both unassuming and unpretentious." - GROOVES

    "Starting with masses of radio exposure on CBC, Canada’s Broadcasting corporation; then contributing a track to the Autumn records compilation, sitting pretty alongside Fizzarum, Cex, Lexanculpt and Hrvatski, then finally a remix on last weeks Printed Circuit CD release. Opening with the title track, The Catch starts with its best foot forward, a classic electro cut, funky bass stabs and classy melodies. A slight shift takes place across the next tracks, veering more towards the melody, touching base with the light and shade of prime period idm. There is always an element of funk sneaking in on this album, the drums seem to hold all the floating chords back from the edge, giving even the most beautiful songs that certain swing. There are a whole host of new names and faces appearing by the week in electronic music, but I am robot and proud is as perfect as a robot is supposed to be, a logical choice captain." - PELICANNECK

    "Although devoid of an easily located name, I am Robot and Proud operates out of Toronto and writes tunes that pull the same electro/synth heartstrings as Suction Records (also based in Toronto). The first of these two tracks ("Please Always Stay As You Are") is a mellow listening ditty reminiscent of Solvent's cool pop leanings, soft in it's bell-toned loops. "Paling Keren"'s wandering funk bassline makes for more defined imagery, as though it were the soundtrack of two robots whispering sweet nothings into each other's audio sensors. Racy stuff, this." - URB

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