Music Reviews

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Artist: Sonae
Title: I Started Wearing Black
Format: LP
Label: Monika Enterprise
Sonae’s 8-track “I Started Wearing Black” is a deeply melancholic collection of stripped-back and glitched electronica sometimes bordering on techno, pairing sometimes-there-sometimes-not soft subbass kick drums with thickly layered polyrhythmic and arhythmic electronic effects into something very focussed and quite intense.

“Majority Vote” is quite a forthright opener, but the pace lets up a little with bell-toned “Rust” and the decidedly more melodic “Dream Sequence”, a definite highlight with its cello tones (maybe?) and a sense of building into grandeur. From that peak, “Soul Eater” and the title track are consciously rougher-hewn and more insular, with the title track’s spontaneous reintroduction of danceable rhythm making you wonder whether the first 20 minutes has all been a spectacularly elaborate intro. “White Trash Rouge Noir” pulls the same track, with a muffled industrial rhythm kicking in from nowhere halfway through an otherwise very sparse arrangement. “System Immanent Value Defect” is a prettier piece, with long sustained piano tones and light, glitchy rhythm programming underpinning gradually growing pad sounds that become quite lush towards the conclusion. Final track “We Are Here” ends on a downbeat, an odd broken-lullaby melodic tone falling away into increasingly random noise.

It’s a very smart and polished bit of very deep electronica, earnest and definitely worthy of attention.



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