New artist of the week: Lafawndah
Plus songs to hear from Nilufer Yanya and Matmos
Lafawndah’s Ancestor Boy album isn’t for those who don’t like to be challenged by their listening
What Experimental future pop
Why After an EP on Warp Records in 2016 and a collaborative album with Japanese percussionist Midori Takada last year, Yasmin Dubois arrived at her most complete statement yet in her full-length album Ancestor Boy.
Drawing from Egyptian/Iranian heritage and informed by sounds of places like Paris, Mexico, Guadeloupe, New York and London, it’s a multicultural R&B album largely produced by futuristic dance music producers and composers Aaron David Ross and L-Vis 1990 among others.
Much like the work of TALA or Fatima Al-Qadiri, Lafawndah imbues her music with body-centred energy and production nous that pings between experimental club music and out-there mutant R&B with the thread of pop melodies. It’s the sound of pop’s future – trialled on the fringes of the underground soon to be assimilated into the mainstream.
The wide-ranging sonics of Ancestor Boy give Lafawndah’s music a strain of exoticism that defies geography. Aiding the otherworldliness is the exploratory nature of the vocals, switching between softness and style. The Kelela-esque aquatic minimalism of Daddy follows the frantic tribalism of Uniform. Storm Chaser pings between large drum breaks and sweet hooks while Joseph brings neo-classical atmospherics to the fore.
Ancestor Boy isn’t for those who don’t like to be challenged by their listening but for those that are willing to lean in, Lafawnduh’s music offers a panoramic vision of a prospective musical future.
YOU HAVE TO HEAR THIS
Nilufer Yanya – Tears
The Turkish-Bajan-Irish Londoner’s debut album Miss Universe is a weird and wonderful collection of indie and R&B music threaded with conceptual narratives interjections to a wellness centre hotline. Tears is the apex of the intersection between her disparate styles, an off-filter synth-driven R&B song with Yanya asking for restraint or she’ll be “lyin’ in a pool of someone else’s blood”.
Matmos – Plastic Anniversary
With apparently only 9 per cent of all plastic waste ever created having made it to recycling and with the European Union due to bring in a law to ban single-use plastics in 2021, the arrival of Matmos’s new album, which focuses on everyday plastic, is well-timed.
The North American electronic duo have often used the tactility of objects as instruments and conceptual themes, and Plastic Anniversary features sounds derived from plastic materials with objects like exercise balls, DNA kits, synthetic human tissue, riot shields, breast implants and poker chips. The result is made for durable repeated plays not single-use junk.