electronica album reviews

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Rezzett: Rezzett review – distressed dancefloor classics

The Trilogy Tapes A bit like a pair of jeans that come pre-distressed with frays and scuffs, the debut full-length from dance duo Rezzett sounds like a once-pristine master recording that has been sun-baked, waterlogged, sandpapered and worse. And like the jeans, some might see this as a pointless pose: why resist high fidelity? But …

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Marie Davidson: Working Class Woman review – tormented techno subverted by humour

(Ninja Tune) As anyone who sat through The Handmaid’s Tale knows, dystopian art can become self-inflicted punishment. There has been plenty of grindingly bleak music released recently, much of it impressively hostile if not exactly the stuff of repeat listens. Two recent albums have demonstrated how to reflect contemporary horror more effectively: Low’s Double Negative …

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Roosevelt: Young Romance review – enjoyable, airbrushed synth pop

(Greco-Roman) Twentysomething German producer Marius Lauber, AKA Roosevelt, first emerged with his Elliot EP in 2013. Released on Greco-Roman, it showcased all the hallmarks of that label: ever-so-slightly left-field, poppy electro that was perfect for the then in-vogue indie dancefloor. Roosevelt’s eponymous debut album followed in 2016 to solid reviews: these were dynamic, disco-tinged bangers …

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Tim Hecker: Konoyo review – Japanese forms abstracted by ambient dystopias

Kranky Having created his own particular aesthetic over nearly two decades – imagine an ambient dreamscape in the rain-soaked alley between a church and a nightclub – the Canadian composer Tim Hecker continues to hone and broaden it out. On his previous album he semi-abstracted an Icelandic choir; now he looks to Japan, collaborating with …

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Gazelle Twin: Pastoral review – techno tormentor tramples tedium

Anti-Ghost Moon Ray In 2000, the UK garage duo Oxide and Neutrino released Bound 4 Da Reload, a single that sampled the Casualty TV show theme. There are moments on the third album by Brighton’s Gazelle Twin that sound unflatteringly like Fever Ray remixing the “Is that your final answer?” music from Who Wants to …

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Tunng: Songs You Make at Night review – a welcome return

(Full Time Hobby) Sam Genders and Mike Lindsay became the founding fathers of “folktronica” in the 00s with a slew of innovative albums with Tunng. The pair have travelled separate paths over the past decade: Genders forming the band Diagrams, Lindsay moving to Reykjavik, then on to this year’s collaboration with singer Laura Marling as …

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Gabe Gurnsey: Physical review – relentless, hooky dance

(Phantasy Sound) While not a household name, Factory Floor – the band Gabe Gurnsey co-founded 13 years ago – owned their niche: sleek industrial techno cut with acid basslines made for a club-oriented live outfit, with intoning guitarist Nik Void recalling a robot Nico. Gurnsey insists that his debut solo album is a departure. It is, kind …

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RL Grime: Nova review – jackhammer EDM/rap bangers for US festivals

(WeDidIt) Los Angeles native RL Grime came up in US rave circles with the late noughties lo-fi rap deconstructionist crew WeDidIt. Alongside producers and DJs Shlomo and Ryan Hemsworth, he distilled the glittering bombast of the then-burgeoning EDM sound, drawing from creepy percussive trap atmospherics and from Grime’s own love for emo songs and pre-teen …

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Underworld & Iggy Pop: Teatime Dub Encounters review – enormo beats taking the world to task

(Caroline International) When Rick Smith from 90s Born Slippy techno giants Underworld first met up with the 71-year-old Iggy Pop for tea at the Savoy, he realised he had “one chance to convince this gentleman that we should work together”. Thus, Smith turned up with what the former Stooge called “a whole bloody studio set …

Underworld & Iggy Pop: Teatime Dub Encounters review – enormo beats taking the world to task

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