Alums of drone contingent Belong and the somewhat legendary Telefon Tel Aviv combine to become ever stronger as Second Woman, their new project cased in as many things they know about electronic music as possible. That is to say: a pounding wall of techno with beats that glitch in and out of the framework to mess everything up, the duo using additive, dubbed effects while also letting the music self-perpetuate. This is a collage of electronic ideas tethered together in rather familiar trappings.
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Turk Dietrich of Belong and Joshua Eustis of Telefon Tel Aviv join forces as Second Woman for a collaborative LP on John Elliott's Spectrum Spools imprint. It’s been some years since we had any new material from these guys - both great artists in their own right and a real dream team working as a duo.
Across two slabs of wax we get nine cuts of superbly crafted futuristic electronic music. ‘100407jd7’ opens the album with a pristine SND style sound palette of juddering and rattling rhythms that seem to accelerate and decelerate in the same hit across a fabric of ethereal synth washes. ‘200601je6’ is like some kinda mutant robo B-Boy techno. ‘300528mj1’ manages to be simultaneously chaotic and serene with wild rhythms colliding across soothing dub techno style splashes. The shiny metallic sound palette is fairly consistent throughout giving the album a wonderful continuity and flow and yet never becomes monotonous. For example the spacey ambient of ‘600249li9’ has an anchor to a previous cut with a kinda ratchet like uncoiling spring sound. There’s real depth and intricate detail throughout the many layers of ‘700358bc5’ - almost as though the machines have developed artificial intelligence and are composing themselves. I suspect there may be some generative algorithmic thing happening that I’m too dumb to understand.
What makes the collaboration really work is a lot of the eerie work on the canvas that creates atmospheres that enhance the complex futuristic sounds which alone could be perceived as cold and sterile but as a whole feel satisfyingly organic.
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