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- Katie Gately by Katie Gately
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Public Information are this week presenting the first collection from Katie Gately (no relation to Stephen, Phil tells me), a Los Angeles native who has been making music for little over a year (the press release tells me). This is sophisticated-sounding stuff indeed, though, with Gately diving headfirst into the realms of harsh computer noise right from the get-go on ‘Ice’, an unsettling opener which braces the listener for any abrasiveness they’ll have to handle later in the record via a sequence of harsh squeaks, squelches and clanks that make me feel like I’m about to have a heart attack.
Thankfully the remainder of the first side is much less daunting, with Katie’s voice featuring prominently on both, with queasily soothing layers wrapping around one another in cut-up stop-start dreampop delirium which falls somewhere between the soothing self-harmonising of Julia Holter and the more uneasy loop-play of Ela Orleans’s more out-there offerings such as those found on her ‘NEO PI-R’ LP. Unlike those two, who remain in thrall to the analogue sounds of the past, Gately instead pushes forwards into computerised territory, replacing the warm crackle and wibble with the surgical precision and extreme waveform-manipulation possibilities of a digitised set-up.
It’s like pure pop viewed through a violent post-apocalyptic computer lens, with the lush melodies and bold, accessible structures always paired off almost self-sabotagingly against ominous and often totally head-frying power electronics. If you’re into the likes of Grimes and Laurel Halo but wish they were a bit more gnarly and fucked up, this might be just the record you’re looking for!
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