electronica album reviews

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Moses Boyd: Dark Matter review – party-facing solo debut

(Exodus) Moses Boyd is a drummer in the same way Questlove from the Roots is a drummer, which is to say that the twice Mobo-winning 28-year-old Londoner is a producer-composer-collaborator-influencer not bound by the kit surrounding him. A progenitor of the current London jazz scene, Boyd’s official solo debut goes large on cross-pollination – and …

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Katie Gately: Loom review – nightmarish orchestrated despair

(Houndstooth)Earthquakes, shovels and screaming peacocks are all sampled in a bombastic and occasionally ingenious album A nail-bomb of grief explodes in this second album by US musician Katie Gately, trauma seeming to rip open its edges. It was written while her mother was dying from a rare form of cancer; the title suggests this horror …

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DJ Diaki: Balani Fou review | Ammar Kalia’s global album of the month

(Nyege Nyege Tapes)DJ Diaki’s debut is a speeding cascade of sound that skilfully re-creates the pounding atmosphere of Malian street party Balani Show Recent years have seen some of the most exciting dancefloor-focused music moving further and further away from its spiritual homes of Detroit, Chicago, Berlin or London. Now, styles such as South African …

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Beatrice Dillon: Workaround review – a global future-folk manifesto

(PAN)These exuberant electronic experiments in mixing 150bpm dub-techno with live instrumentation fizz with the joy of artistic creation At the end of last year, the Guardian declared Beatrice Dillon “the most thrilling new voice in British electronic music”, and her first full-fledged solo LP, Workaround, demonstrates why. Put together during stolen moments over three years, …

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Squarepusher: Be Up a Hello review – devilish, danceable return

(Warp)Tom Jenkinson goes back to his mid-90s moniker and makes use of old electronic hardware in a fun, if bumpy, ride Emerging in the mid-90s as part of the generation of artists defining Warp Records’ IDM sound, Squarepusher now presides over a discography that positions himself directly opposite the genre’s ideological associations. His dense, frenetic …

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070 Shake: Modus Vivendi review – an impressive statement of intent

(GOOD Music/Virgin EMI) Among the few highlights from Kanye West’s 2018 album, ye, were two features from emerging New Jersey artist Danielle Balbuena – known by the moniker 070 Shake. Most notably, the bilingual singer-rapper’s guest verse on Ghost Town swam with a heady feeling of darkness and freedom – something that carries through to …

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Georgia: Seeking Thrills review – a bold British hymn to hedonism | Alexis Petridis’ album of the week

(Domino)The singer and producer has absorbed Chicago house, Robyn-style pop and dub reggae, and refashioned them into an album about being ‘consumed by night’ The photo on the cover of Georgia Barnes’s second album seems telling. At first glance, it looks like one of those classic late 80s/early 90s club shots that get ageing acid …

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Burial: Tunes 2011 to 2019 review – a bleak, beautiful, brave compilation

(Hyperdub) It’s strange to remember how much of the excitement around Burial’s emergence focused on the act’s anonymity. Like any serious underground scene, dubstep was hardly about fame-chasing faces in 2005. But Burial became its Banksy, a feted street artist who told poetic truths about the prosaic to the public. Evocative yet blunt song titles …

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Daniel Lopatin: Uncut Gems Original Soundtrack review

(Warp)Lopatin, AKA Oneohtrix Point Never, has created a soundtrack for the Safdie brothers’ latest that brings its whole roiling humanity brilliantly to life Uncut Gems is one of the films of the year, cementing its directors, the Safdie brothers, as the masters of stressing you out by watching flawed people make even more flawed life …

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