BY NATTY MORRISON
It many respects, it seems as though wobble bass has staged a coup on traditional forms of electronic music. But most DJs will tell you, it’s not hard to make wobble. The toughest part is making something happen with it. For an artist like Ana Sia, she never has to think twice. While some of the music’s charm is in its sporadic tendencies, the song structure and composition is exceptional. And it doesn’t hurt that every single section sounds like some of the grimiest, filthiest and joyful West Coast electro in recent memory.
“Extraordinary Rendition” moves in so many directions, but is always headed forward. Beginning with a wobbling bass line and scant drums, she lets the whomp do most of the work. In fact, at times it becomes difficult to differentiate between the melody and drum tracks; it’s like they’re all working together to form one ever-thick, ever-powerful wall of rhythm. But where most DJs would be content to stay there, to roll around in their own grimy filth, Ana Sia demands more from her music, and steps off the ledge, dropping into a maddeningly catchy hip-hop groove. But all the while, the grime and wobble is still there. She just knows how to use it differently, to give it different hues.
“Tardigrade Symphony in D” shows up in two different incarnations on the disc, one as an instrumental and the other featuring the lovely and often arresting vocals of Erica Dee. As an instrumental, the song is a masterful tour through soul and hip-hop, but with the addition of Dee’s vocals the song takes on a new life. With the emerging presence of electro in today’s pop music, it’s not such a far cry to imagine this song being blared from the cars of every club-hopping party fiend on the strip during a hazy Los Angeles night. Dee switches between coos and come-on singing and hard-front rapping, not unlike a less trashy Ke$ha. Though that’s not to say that the song shares anything with the mountains of crap-filled garbage bags that often litters the side of today’s musical highway; Ana Sia and Erica Dee’s approach to the tune is far too inventive and deep.
“Voodoo Love” shows off Ana Sia’s eclectic side. The track is literally a kitchen-sink deal. Some deep, bluesy keys here; a bit of conga rolls there; she even sneaks in a live crowd chant that sounds not-so-far away from the sounds of a soccer stadium. By the song’s end, she’s even figured out a way to combine every one of these elements until your head is nodding without control. And the best part is that it always stays organic. Every bit of sound, every shred of sonic attack sounds like it’s exactly where it’s supposed to be. And that’s possibly the biggest praise one can give a DJ.
You can purchase and download the album here, directly from Addictech.com
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