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Electronic/Dance - Released April 3, 2020 | 4AD

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Having described it as “A quest for comfort, the search for a resting place”, it almost sounds like Canadian duo Purity Ring are searching for a place to die in their new album, but the title Womb, is instead more of an invitation to stay safe at home and enjoy the life we’ve been given. Megan James and Corin Roddick came out of the shadows in 2012 following the release of their album, Shrine, and have since been endorsed by the likes of Jon Hopkins and Danny Brown. Their artistic approach hasn’t changed all that much and their synthetic pop is still blossoming and finding its fullness and depth in this third studio album which may even surpass the work of their fellow compatriot Grimes, who has a similar style. Roddick’s production is as compelling as ever here and James, with her vocals sounding less and less human, is an expert in making catchy choruses. The duo from Edmonton have released a whole load of potential hits, (notably the ballad rubyinsides, built on layers upon layers of synthesizers, as well as the future pop in sinew and the single stardew), and shown great skill in this album. An amniotic haven that definitely lives up to our expectations. © Smaëm Bouaici/Qobuz
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Electronic/Dance - Released April 3, 2020 | 4AD

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Electronic/Dance - Released February 21, 2020 | 4AD

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Rising from the darkness of the Canadian rave scene at the start of the 2010s, Grimes quickly made her way up the ladder of success. Her synthetic hit Vanessa allowed her to amass a fanbase that was obsessed with her post-teenage voice and elfish look, and at the end of the 2010s, Pitchfork named Oblivion (written following a sexual assault and taken from her 2012 album Vision) the second-best song of the entire decade. It’s this kind of distinction that reminds us that she is an artist that knows exactly how to transcribe emotions into songs, and not just the girlfriend of multi-billionaire Elon Musk. Miss Anthropocene sees Grimes morph into a climate supervillain, a ‘goddess of plastic’ that’s here to take some of the heat off climate change. Musically, Grimes has not drastically changed, with a signature synth-pop sound that borrows from rock on My Name Is Dark, drum’n’bass on the excellent 4ÆM or trip-hop on So Heavy (I Fell Through the Earth), which reminds you of Massive Attack or Transglobal Underground. Well inspired, Grimes continues to hit the mark. © Smaël Bouaici/Qobuz
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Electronic/Dance - Released February 21, 2020 | 4AD

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Rising from the darkness of the Canadian rave scene at the start of the 2010s, Grimes quickly made her way up the ladder of success. Her synthetic hit Vanessa allowed her to amass a fanbase that was obsessed with her post-teenage voice and elfish look, and at the end of the 2010s, Pitchfork named Oblivion (written following a sexual assault and taken from her 2012 album Vision) the second-best song of the entire decade. It’s this kind of distinction that reminds us that she is an artist that knows exactly how to transcribe emotions into songs, and not just the girlfriend of multi-billionaire Elon Musk. Miss Anthropocene sees Grimes morph into a climate supervillain, a ‘goddess of plastic’ that’s here to take some of the heat off climate change. Musically, Grimes has not drastically changed, with a signature synth-pop sound that borrows from rock on My Name Is Dark, drum’n’bass on the excellent 4ÆM or trip-hop on So Heavy (I Fell Through the Earth), which reminds you of Massive Attack or Transglobal Underground. Well inspired, Grimes continues to hit the mark. © Smaël Bouaici/Qobuz
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Electronic/Dance - Released February 21, 2020 | 4AD

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Electronic/Dance - Released February 21, 2020 | 4AD

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Electronic/Dance - Released February 12, 2020 | 4AD

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Electronic/Dance - Released January 3, 2020 | 4AD

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Electronic/Dance - Released December 13, 2019 | 4AD

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Electronic/Dance - Released November 29, 2019 | 4AD

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Electronic/Dance - Released November 15, 2019 | 4AD

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Electronic/Dance - Released October 31, 2019 | 4AD

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Electronic/Dance - Released May 10, 2019 | 4AD

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Electronic/Dance - Released March 14, 2018 | 4AD

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Electronic/Dance - Released October 20, 2017 | 4AD

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Electronic/Dance - Released October 20, 2017 | 4AD

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Electronic/Dance - Released July 24, 2017 | 4AD

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Electronic/Dance - Released April 24, 2017 | 4AD

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Electronic/Dance - Released April 7, 2017 | 4AD

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Electronic/Dance - Released February 17, 2017 | 4AD

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Excluding a few early, limited releases, No Home of the Mind is the third proper full-length from pianist David Moore's post-minimalist ensemble Bing & Ruth, and their debut for legendary indie label 4AD. While 2010's City Lake was created by 11 musicians, including two vocalists, and featured compositions stretching past the ten-minute mark, No Home continues with the more refined sound of Bing & Ruth's 2014 breakthrough Tomorrow Was the Golden Age. That album featured seven musicians, and No Home is even more stripped-down, as Moore is only joined by clarinetist Jeremy Viner, bassists Jeff Ratner and Greg Chudzik, and tape delay operator Mike Effenberger. Even with a reduced personnel, it doesn't feel as if anything is missing. These pieces seem to drift a bit more than the ones on the previous two albums, but they're still highly focused. On several selections, Moore plays his piano in a cascading style reminiscent of the "continuous music" of Lubomyr Melnyk, with clusters of notes rushing in an ecstatic blur. Opening track "Starwood Choker" and "Form Takes" are both examples of this, and two of the album's highlights. On other tracks, the notes are sparser and more solemn, but the playing style on pieces like "As Much as Possible" still seems to require an enormous amount of discipline in order to master. While Moore's piano often seems to be the lead "voice" of the compositions, the other musicians play a vital role in shaping the moods and atmospheres of the pieces. It makes sense that one of the group members is solely in charge of tape delay, as there's enough of it to warrant a full-time position, and it greatly accentuates the snowy, hazy qualities of the music. While the music is generally calm and reflective, there are several darker moments. "Flat Line/Peak Colour" opens with a sorrowful, rainfall-like piano melody, and gradually seems more concerned and alarmed, eventually getting as doom-filled as this group gets. But even at their most dramatic, Bing & Ruth still can't help but sound effortlessly pretty. As with previous albums, Moore seems to delight in twisting grammar for his titles, which include "The How of It Sped," "To All It," and "What Ash It Flow Up." While he doesn't quite have the self-deprecating humor of Kyle Bobby Dunn, he seems to agree that this sort of music doesn't have to seem so serious or academic, and that there's room for absurdity and playfulness. Melancholy but not overbearingly so, No Home of the Mind is thoroughly entrancing, and another triumph for Bing & Ruth. © Paul Simpson /TiVo

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