South London-based producer and musician Klein drops her second full-length album. Her previous releases, which saw her briefly signed to the illustrious Hyperdub label, have been building up to the kind of all-encompassing, deeply personal material heard on Lifetime, which Klein describes as “giving someone your diary”.
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Klein’s ‘Lifetime’ is a record which reminds us that, as much as we may like the idea of getting inside someone’s head, what we’re likely to find there will be as unsettling as it is intriguing. Klein achieves this by chopping and screwing just about anything she can get her hands on. Though there are fewer vocals here than on previous releases, it’s still voices that are the primary carriers of the uncanny.
‘We Are Almost There’ opens with a slightly sped up samples of voices. This on its own would be eerie, but they are soon joined by a looped recording of what sounds like a choir. They’re blurry and distorted, and Klein makes no effort to disguise the point of looping. At this point the closest analogue is probably some of William Basinski’s work, but her unwillingness to disguise the loop makes it feel closer to the sort of thing Blood Orange is doing now. Those voices are joined by another, this one all James Blake fragile.
Klein doesn’t only loop vocals. ‘Never Will I Disobey’ has the energy of a free jazz pianist lost in time and surrounded by manic drummers, while ‘99’ is built on a stupendous string sample. ‘Claim It’ also loops, but it’s looping the sort of crunchy drum pattern that Burial is known for.
‘Lifetime’ is very much its own sonic world. That Klein is able engage club, classical and jazz all on a record probably best described as ambient indicates an artist who is completely assured.
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- Lifetime by Klein
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