Anohni of Antony And The Johnsons presents her solo project. Production assistance from big-guns Hudson Mohawke and Oneohtrix Point Never make this a kaleidoscopic electronic experience, her ever-soaring vocals above a busy dance-swirl. Ecstatic and experimental. Hopelessness is released by Rough Trade.
9/10 Clinton Staff review, 04 May 2016
Forget everything you know.
If you didn’t like Antony and the Johnsons then please don’t worry about it. If you did then this really shouldn’t be too far away for comfort. Ahohni is of course of former Antony & The Johnsons and this collaboration with Oneohtrix Point Never and Hudson Mohawke is a tremendously successful leap into the thrilling world of dark electronic pop.
Opener ‘Drone Bomb Me' is a fantastic song - over lively blooping electronics Anohni gets inside the head of a young war torn girl hoping for death with lines “blow my head off, explode my crystal guts’. ‘4 Degrees’ was the first track leaked from this project and again demonstrates Ahohni’s anger with the world - it’s certainly the most chart-ready track here with a pounding horn like synth line and pulverising percussion but the lyrics would give food to thought to anyone giving it even the most cursory listen. What I like about this record is the lyrical daring - it's like Anohni has had a protective skin lifted and is now saying exactly what she feels. Couple this with the sparkling production of Hudson Mohawke and Oneohtrix Point Never, the record is at it’s best the more wild it becomes. The lesser tracks I’d say are the ones that sound more like Antony and the Johnsons - ‘Execution’ and ‘I Don’t Love You Anymore’ are pleasant if a little safe feeling when you compare with what comes next. ‘Obama’ is oddly the deepest I’ve heard Anohni’s voice - wobbling low beneath weird electronics and if you’ve ever wanted her voice shredded then you need to hear ‘Violent Men’ - this is a weird and disconcerting slab of oddtronica which is almost derailed by the most incredible bass note before it rises from it’s ashes. It’s the juxtaposition between the voice and the skewed electronica that truly thrills.
At the other end of the spectrum ‘Crisis’ manages to tear at the emotions with it’s stark straight to the point lyrics over a lovely haunting almost U-Ziq likewise pattern, the closing ‘Marrow’ too is a swirl of delightful electronica and the type of lyrics rarely heard in todays pop canon.
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