Music Reviews

Apr 19 2017
cover
Artist: Second Woman
Title: S/W
Format: LP + Download
Label: Spectrum Spools
Josh Eustis of Telefon Tel Aviv and Turk Dietrich of Belong describe this, their second album, as “future music”. It’s supremely digital and synthetic- playful adjustments of oscillations and time signatures with an aesthetic wholly removed from any organic roots, as emphasised by the fact that all the track titles are simply combinations of forward-slashes and backslashes and nothing else.

It’s very simple and sparse for the most part- rolling, glitching, light and almost bubbling digital retriggers with a delicate touch forming their own rhythm in a mostly bass-and-kick-free environment. The net result is also a release that’s somewhat cold and a little bit alienating, an exercise in complex programming- I presume S/W stands for SoftWare as well as Second Woman and probably other things too.

It’s only on the second track that bold, vaguely Leftfield-esque large and echoing synth chords arrive, followed by hollow and distant chords. Each track feels like a natural evolution of the last- by the fourth track, relatively more conventional drum programming has arrived, and so on. The ‘lightweight Leftfield’ vibe is particularly in evidence on track 6, “////\\”. Slightly more familiar electro-glitch structures form the basis of the eighth track, before the ninth and final track wraps things up nicely, an epilogue paralleling the opening prologue.

It’s rare to find an electronic album that works so well as individual slices, yet is so coherent for listening to in one go.



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