electronica album reviews

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Róisín Murphy: Róisín Machine review – still inventing new moves

(Skint/BMG)Pop outsider and lockdown living-room star Murphy distils her disco expertise and musical idiosyncrasies in songs pulsing with dancefloor power The first thing you hear on Róisín Murphy’s fifth album is a snatch of spoken word, an extract from a monologue that appears in full later. “I feel my story is still untold,” she says, …

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Sault: Untitled (Rise) review | Alexis Petridis’s album of the week

(Forever Living Originals)Just 12 weeks after their previous double album, the British group dance from sorrow to resistance, mixing fearless lyrics with house, funk and disco Over the last two years, Sault’s music has arrived out of the blue: no interviews, no photos, no videos, no live appearances, no Wikipedia entry, a perfunctory and entirely …

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Duma: Duma review – extreme Kenyan metalheads bring doom to the dancefloor

(Nyege Nyege Tapes)From Nairobi’s metal scene, Martin Kanja and Sam Karugu add techno to doom-laden guitars and distorted vocals on this exciting album Alongside the burgeoning experimental electronic scene in east Africa is a small but committed underground of metal bands, based in Nairobi. These groups are breathing life into a field hampered by a …

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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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