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Electronic - Released May 28, 2012 | 4AD

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Electronic - 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 - Released February 21, 2020 | 4AD

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Electronic - Released April 7, 2014 | 4AD

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Electronic - 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 - Released November 6, 2015 | 4AD

Hi-Res Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music
Her album Visions illuminated 2012. With her 4th studio album Art Angels, Grimes succeeds once again - excelling in the field of electro pop and ferverish eclecticism. This time the Canadian rounds off a few more angles, producing a range of melodies that are undeniably more 'pop', but also irresistibly catchy. The result is a diluted and diverse experience compared with past efforts, but without losing her unique identity and artistic singularity. Indeed, Grimes does not do electro pop like her counterparts. Each song from Art Angels comes with a slight twist or the vital dose of quirkiness necessary to makes it a fascinating composition. Note the presence of Janelle Monáe on one of the tracks. © MD / Qobuz
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Electronic - Released January 13, 2017 | 4AD

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Electronic - 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 - Released February 17, 2017 | 4AD

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Electronic - Released February 21, 2020 | 4AD

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Electronic - Released May 10, 2019 | 4AD

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Electronic - Released March 2, 2015 | 4AD

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Electronic - Released March 24, 1997 | 4AD

Gus Gus' first formal album as a full band was a quietly astonishing record -- the "new Sugarcubes" tag which the band gained was always misleading, since instead of that group's fractured avant-rock approach, Gus Gus always tended toward a mix of understatement and chilling power. Also, the collective had its roots much more firmly planted in dance, but not merely modern techno -- everything from exotica (opening track "Oh" prominently samples Arthur Lyman) to grimy hip-hop breaks formed the basis of Polydistortion. Combined with the cool restraint that defines all the band's work, notably present in Daniel Agust and Siggi's almost unearthly calm (but never totally dispassionate) singing, the result is an effective blend of styles that works from start to end. Lead single "Believe" gathered and held the most attention, and for very good reason. The inspired choice of Kool & the Gang's "Jungle Jazz" for the core rhythm sample was sharp enough, but with further arrangements contributing to the dark, glowering funk on display and Agust's subtle singing delivering either a vivid statement of religious commitment or a sly demolition of same, it becomes flat-out brilliant. No less brilliant lyrically and musically was "Is Jesus Your Pal?," with Siggi's almost childlike vocal a hypnotizing call over minimal, gripping accompaniment. Not everything is quite so heavy, though -- "Polyesterday," the other main single from the album, is a touch calmer, with Siggi's singing meshing with the jazz-funk of the track very well, if still cool all around the edges. Plenty of other strong tracks also appear, such as the gentle but no less compelling grooves of "Cold Breath '79," Siggi's vocals softly wafting among the beats, or the extended jam "Remembrance," both hot and cold at once. [Some U.S. editions come with a bonus disc including various remixes of album cuts.] © Ned Raggett /TiVo
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Electronic - Released July 23, 2012 | 4AD

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Electronic - Released January 13, 2017 | 4AD

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Electronic - Released April 8, 2016 | 4AD

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Electronic - Released May 27, 2013 | 4AD

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Electronic - Released February 17, 2017 | 4AD

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Electronic - Released April 7, 2014 | 4AD

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Electronic - Released July 1, 2001 | 4AD

Gus Gus' second album, This Is Normal, heralds their discovery that they are first and foremost a pop band. While the spacious, sophisticated electronica they developed on their debut (Polydistortion) is still evident, This Is Normal's smooth, streamlined finish has more than a nodding acquaintance with dance-pop. Though Normal is certainly less weird than its predecessor, it remains floating outside of the mainstream, but swims a little closer to it. Looking to explore individual normality within the album's 11 tracks, Gus Gus' multiple singers and songwriters expound on sex, fame, youth, and love. "Ladyshave" features sly vocals from Daníel Ágúst and a slightly kinky premise, while Hafdis Huld's breathy soprano elevates "Teenage Sensation," "Superhuman," and "Blue Mug" to an icy, remote beauty. As with Polydistortion, Gus Gus continue to be more convincing on their albums' quiet, introspective moments. The mannered chamber pop of "Bambi" and the pretty atmospherics of "Dominique" are among the highlights of This Is Normal, while dance-oriented songs like "Very Important People," "Starlovers," and "Love vs. Hate" probably sound less flat and distant at one of the group's amazing multimedia concerts. The innovative beats and arrangements on Gus Gus' debut are missed here, but This Is Normal is still a fine blend of accessibility and invention. © Heather Phares /TiVo

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