Roundup, April #1
From dark industrial bass to new music from a legendary techno act, we roundup our favourite tracks of the week. Listen below.
Shygirl – Playboy / Positions
In revealing the deluxe version of her debut album Nymph, UK rapper and pop artist Shygirl has shared remixes of Nymph tracks featuring the likes of Tinashe and Björk. Playboy / Positions is the first taste of the new material that will also make up the extended universe of Nymph_o, and it’s a departure from the album’s crystalline and ethereal sound. Longtime fans of Shygirl will be pleased to hear her going back to her roots on this track, a dark and borderline grotesque strip club anthem that features Shygirl’s signature horniness against deep, distorted bass and a chilly minimal 2000’s hip-hop beat.
Poppy – Church Outfit
The chameleonic singer Poppy has been on a tour of alternative music’s shadowier underground over the course of the past few years, shedding the electronic pop of her early work to try her hand at everything from razor sharp nu-metal to twisted death metal and noise rock. On Church Outfit, she sways back toward her electronic roots while staying put in the dark and aggressive style she has forged for herself. Part Nine Inch Nails, part Depeche Mode with a dose of Miss Kittin, Church Outfit is a louche and macabre banger that toes the line between industrial techno, darkwave, and goth rock.
felicita, Caroline Polachek – Sparlarkle (Alys)
The latest single from London producer felicita and is an interesting one for label PC Music. Once the hyperpop standard, in recent years PC Music and its artists have ceded that title the likes of 100 Gecs. Sparlarkle sounds like PC Music’s response to that obnoxious, pop-punk driven sound that has become the new hyperpop standard. A pastiche of italo-house, grunge, and 2000’s electropunk featuring Polachek shouting ‘Alys” on loop, Sparlarkle is as loud and audacious as Dylan Brady and Laura Les, but with an indisputable stylishness that places it very much in the PC Music realm.
Overmono – Good Lies
The title track from the UK duo’s upcoming debut album is both a surprising departure and quintessentially Overmono. The essentials are all there; a punchy breakbeat, deep reverb laden bass, and a looped, left-field vocal sample that chants the track’s title. The difference is in the tonality of Good Lies. It’s brimming with bright optimism, possibly the most euphoric thing Overmono has ever made. The queasy tension of tracks like So U Kno or the emotional gravitas of Clipper is nowhere to be found, in its place upward inflected synths and a happy-go-lucky cadence.
Underworld – and the colour red
Icons of 90’s techno Underworld return with a single that harkens back to their classics. and the colour red is a deep and propulsive slice of techno. Sledgehammering industrial bass forms the backbone for a house beat featuring mercurial hi-hats, and Underworld’s signature acid trance synth riffs. Rick Smith’s moody spoken word rounds out the track’s quiet aggression, making for something as hypnotic as it is unrelenting. Most impressive is just how contemporary and the colour red sounds, with Underworld unafraid to transpose current sounds and trends into their own distinct style.