Mei is Caroline Masson, a singer and producer and songwriter and sound inventor from Dijon, France. In terms of both the album’s bold scope and the inventive pop-glitch sounds it is full of, Partura recalls no less than the mighty Bjork. This is a new talent to pay attention to, no doubt. Vinyl release on the UOVOOO label.
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- Partura by Mei
8/10 Robin Staff review, 14 December 2016
Make the pop music play forever in ways weird, nostalgic, haunting and confusing. Ruin the listener’s life by suggesting that pop music exists in the same natural state as like, a wave passing between the sea and the sand. Do lots of things and make them glitch. Such is basically how I feel about Mei, whose looping, breaking, unarranging excursions fall somewhere between the excruciating pop music of Colleen and the emotional outpourings of Bjork (who Mei very much recalls). As this record goes on, its initial new age lul will take on skewed, noisy mutations and serve dark corridor songs, so deal with it in advance.
“Archeen” is our first hint of the record’s haunted collage, with thudding beats placing themselves quite apart from the harp plucks and multi-pitched vocal cries. Its curious collation of production and arrangement makes the record sound woozy and exhausting, its off-kilter beats coming in as clearly as possible against a stream of sounds that offer nothing but cognitive dissonance -- the flutes and synths and hums of “Nelumbo” frequently fall into passages of people randomly talking and breathing as samples of weatherstorms play above, before Mei comes back in with a sort of song, if not the very same one.
I like this record but I don’t trust it: how can you throw out a sound as quaint and lovely as that music box loop on “Insects” before crushing it in hand with a beat, then swivelling ‘round into an electronic extravaganza worthy of both Machinedrum and an old N64 game alongside freaky whispers and pitched-down groans? That’s a long fucking question, but it’s no less meandering than ‘Partura’, which is a ridiculous record you should definitely listen to. This is a synth-baroque anthology. The audacity of it.
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