Dec 31, 2019

Best electronic albums of 2019: three

3 – Loraine James – For You And I (Hyperdub)

For You And I is the sound of London bustle, of coming out of basement clubs, of tube stations shuttering their doors, of a queer life in a contemporary capital. Apparently. I don't live in London. In Manchester, we don't go on tubes, we just swagger with our maracas.

This freewheeling collage of broken bass music gets more compelling with every listen. The drum sounds are as loose as a bag of nuts: cheese-grated cymbals and strangled toms collide with precarious snares that rattle the walls of the album.

It's like being parachuted into a leftfield techno metropolis without a map, but that's not to say there aren't familiar touchpoints as we hear Loraine's story. Scraping My Feet has some serious Aphexian melancholy. There's something Autechresque about the scrunched rhythms of So Scared. And London Ting is pure grime bravado – "look at my skin!" – told through a tough techno lens.

All this on a debut album. Remarkable. As broad as London itself, it's one moment brutal, the next moment tender, all of it uneasy, all of it compelling. A boundary-breaking statement that's queer by nature and queer by noise. *shakes maracas*

Scroll the full best-of-2019 list here.

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