electronica album reviews

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Arca: Kick I review – dissonance meets overground ambitions

(XL)The Venezuelan electronic innovator adds guests and party tunes to her trademark glitchy sounds The Venezuela-born, Barcelona-based electronic innovator Arca has long made a feature of colliding sound-worlds and destabilising identities. Across three albums (four, if you’re counting the 62-minute track @@@@@) of mercurial productions, chaos and beauty have intertwined. Hand in hand with Arca’s …

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Arca: KiCk i review – joyful sonic vision of what pop could be

(XL) Alejandra Ghersi’s new set is a subversive and mischievous fusion of aural fireworks and psychedelic lyricism aided by Björk, Shygirl, Rosalía and Sophie Time, from Arca’s fourth album KiCk i, reduces a booming, bass-heavy 4/4 kick drum to a whisper that oscillates around Alejandra Ghersi’s blurry, anaesthetised words. “It’s time to let it out …

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Kevin Figes Quartet: Changing Times review – constantly fascinating

(Pig Records)The multi-instrumentalist’s latest quartet recording is a mind-expanding feast for the ears I didn’t think I was going to like this album at first, when greeted by the strains of an electronic sequencer. But this faded into a beautifully played flute solo. Then came some wordless chanting by two mysterious voices, leading to a …

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Nídia: Não Fales Nela Que a Mentes review – intimate introspection from Lisbon producer

(Príncipe)Nídia shines in her new, more meditative album, showcasing a breadth of dance genres with a keen eye for emotion and turmoil Conceived almost a decade ago, the Príncipe label burst out of Lisbon’s poorer outskirts and onto an international scene enriched by burgeoning global sounds. While the song Danza Kuduro and acts such as …

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Lorenzo Senni: Scatto Matto review I Ben Beaumont-Thomas’s album of the week

(Warp)The Italian producer charges the euphoria of dancefloor anticipation with punk spirit in these joyous, poignant tracks ‘Where’s the drop?” This was a complaint often howled at festivals or in YouTube comment sections during the EDM years (usually by a hench guy in a vest), when mainstream dance was all about extreme peaks and troughs. …

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Lea Bertucci: Acoustic Shadows review I John Lewis’s contemporary album of the month

(SA Recordings)This musical piece of civil engineering was assembled from recordings made under a bridge in Cologne New York composer Lea Bertucci made her name as an unorthodox saxophonist – some of her most compelling performances see her playing alto sax or bass clarinet, using assorted looper pedals and tape effects to create improvisations that …

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One to watch: Jockstrap

The London-based duo serve up retro-tinged experimental pop in a fantastical second EP Bands often have names that summon up their sound, but not Jockstrap. Far from a macho, musky proposition, they write fantastically eccentric songs that are often about sex. They consist of Georgia Ellery (vocals/violin) and Taylor Skye (vocals/electronics), who met at London’s …

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DJ Python: Mas Amable review – deep reggaeton lithe electronica for heart and feet

(Incienso)Python’s deft, dancefloor-friendly explorations add deep-house chords and ambient susurrations to dembow, to heady effect From dembow’s influence on Justin Bieber’s Purpose to the rise of international reggaeton superstars J Balvin and Bad Bunny, tresillo rhythms have been a dominant force in pop for a few years now. Dancehall and reggaeton have featured more and …

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Minor Science: Second Language review – expectation-defying beats

(Whities)Debut album cleverly morphs and melds its 90s palette without sliding into nostalgia, but there are occasional longueurs The inspiration behind Minor Science’s debut album is one that’s sure to resonate with many of his fellow English-speaking electronic music artists and peers who have relocated to Berlin over the years. Second Language is the result …

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Yaeji: What We Drew 우리가 그려왔던 review – dance music for an existential crisis

(XL Recordings)Straddling the blurry line between dream pop and DIY house, the Korean-American’s first full-length effort is a diaristic work of startling emotional clarity Korean-American DJ and producer Yaeji – full name Kathy Yaeji Lee – is the queen of introverted club music. She broke through with her squelchy house track Raingurl in 2017, contrasting …

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