Heavyweight killer collaboration between dread bass magician Shackleton and icy-eyed chanteuse Anika! Behind The Glass bristles with deep sonics, complex rhythms and Anika’s dramatically-delivered monologue. Really, if you know either of these two musicians, you should know that this is a special opportunity not to be missed. Out on Shackleton’s Woe To The Septic Heart label.
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- Behind The Glass by Shackleton With Anika
9/10 Laurie Staff review, 13 July 2017
I haven’t heard Anika’s 2010 debut album yet, which is probably a mistake as it sounds like a treat for glum ears from an ex-political journalist turned post-punk singer and features Geoff Barrow’s Beak as backing band. Well, it doesn’t seem like she’s done a huge amount in the world of recorded music since then save an EP in 2013 but here we are, the next big one, and it’s with spook bass producer Shackleton.
He’s been cutting a particularly interesting path lately with few solo productions coming out and no less than 3 double disc collab albums in the last year. This guy doesn’t sleep much huh. Well, it pays off, as his previous stepper style has been replaced by slow, trance-inducing cycles using the same hand drum percussion that you’d much rather find in Indian classical music than Bristol dub basements. Coupled with that you have some complex melodic patterns played by a relatively simple blip synth that is bubbling with energy, making a vibrant backdrop for Anika’s alternating between coldly sung sections and darkly spoken word. Her verses cycle much like the percussions, chanting along with liquid continuity. She takes a bit of time out as on ‘The Future is Hurt’ to be sampled and played like a keyboard, before soaring above the clanking alarm-groove with incredible choral sustained notes. Unless that’s all sampled too - quality of the source material then I guess !
I would say that this one is closer to Sferic Ghost Transmits than the collab with Ernesto Tomasini, sounding more enthralling and immersive than the Tomasini one. Anika has a similar turn of phrase and rhythm to Vengeance Tenfold I’d say, rather than Tomasini’s theatrics. It’s like being stuck in a world of gloomy gamelan ticking away like clockwork while memories of the club linger, and a sole voice beckons you further in. Great.
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