Aïsha Devi “Popular Science”

29 May 2013 — Henning Lahmann

Oh, those ambitions. Only their second release but we can already hardly imagine ever to have to live without the supreme curation of Lyon/Geneva imprint Danse Noire. Their first offering, the Out Of Body EP by Turin's Daniele Mana aka Vaghe Stelle was a quintessential and mind-boggling tour de force through everything exciting and challenging in contemporary underground dance music, and now the folks' fine ears introduce us to the sounds of Aïsha Devi, formerly known as Kate Wax, and the results this time around are by no means less enticing. The artist's forthcoming Aura 4 Everyone EP takes up the noirish feel of its predecessor while largely dropping the dancefloor menace in favour of some of the finest broken avant-garde pop tropes we've come across this year. The rhythm patterns are mostly twisted, providing an aptly uneasy foundation for Devi's experimentations with synths and sequencer, and not least her own voice. The uncanny, shattered arrangement of "Popular Science" is a perfect introduction to the EP, entrapping you like a dim, semi-lighted alley in some rundown quarter in a city far east, dragging you towards a place you know you should never enter, yet there's nothing left that will stop you now.

The Aura 4 Everyone EP is out June 3. If you're in need of further arguments, it includes two excellent remixes by Cooly G and Willie Burns. Highly recommended.