Jessy Lanza - DJ-Kicks Music Album Reviews

Jessy Lanza - DJ-Kicks Music Album Reviews
Balancing contemporary house and techno with detours into footwork, gqom, and more, the Canadian musician’s mix reveals the range of influences behind her own singular brand of synth pop.

In Jessy Lanza’s world, every dancefloor is a dancefloor for one, Janet Jackson’s “Empty” is the highest-selling pop song of all time, and the clock always reads 2 a.m.—the time of night that the quiet, heady dance music Lanza makes is best consumed. With each successive solo album, the contours of the Lanzaverse become more refined and the topography becomes a little more precise. After three albums—including, most recently, last year’s All the Time—Lanza’s sound feels unique and immediately identifiable. Lanza is so consistent, in fact, that it can be hard to identify her contemporaries. Her work is comparatively featherweight alongside the austere, forceful techno of her longtime collaborator Jeremy Greenspan, and although a song like “Begins,” from 2016’s Oh No, might nod to the dark, vocal-led electronic pop of FKA twigs, it’s far from her main mode. The closest fit might be someone like Doss, who, like Lanza, often seems to be making dance tracks that are just as good for daydreaming as dancing to.

Lanza’s installment in !K7’s long-running DJ-Kicks series acts like a decoder ring for the rest of her catalog. Composed largely of contemporary house and techno with occasional detours into footwork, gqom, and funk carioca, her selection offers welcome insight into the varied influences threaded through her work. Although it’s a decidedly more straight-shooting mix than recent standouts in the series—including memoir-ish sets by Jayda G and DJ Koze, and a rangy leftfield entry from Avalon Emerson—it’s a surprisingly vital complement to the rest of Lanza’s output, a clubby addendum for fans wanting to venture to the far reaches of her world.

A handful of inspired choices lend the mix the thrilling weightlessness of Lanza’s best solo music. As a selector, Lanza plays it admirably fast and loose, rarely letting something run for longer than two minutes. When she does grant a song extra space—as with the gorgeously chintzy house throwback “Freak Like U,” by Italian production duo Masarima—it feels euphoric, a natural release after a more fleet-footed patch. Built around undulating synth organs, an earworm bassline, and a sweet, breathy vocal sample—“Baby, you make me move/Like a freak like me needs a freak like you”—“Freak Like U” feels like something Lanza might have written, an anthemic heater whose key melodic components are nevertheless tinny and strung out, as if heard from the bathroom or balcony.

As “Freak Like U” begins to transition into Portland-based producer Golden Donna’s spectral tech-house cut “Foaming,” Lanza ad-libs the title of “Freak Like U,” further blurring the lines between her own music and the mix. The effect occurs again later, when Buckinghamshire grime producer G3’s “Drum 2 (Peanut)” gives way to “A Path of Weeds and Flowers,” from Inga Copeland’s 2018 album as Lolina, The Smoke. The latter song’s creeping, alienated synth work feels like a funhouse-mirror version of one of Lanza’s songs, and Lolina’s rhythmic meditations (“Your eyes are on me/Your voice around me/I want nothing to do with/Deceptive emotions”) recall Lanza’s own lyrics about communication and romantic conflict.

Lanza’s DJ-Kicks is filled with these kinds of callbacks to her own oeuvre; although three of her four original contributions, including collaborations with Hyperdub labelmate Loraine James and fellow Bay Area producer Taraval, are placed right at the start of the mix, it’s hard to forget whose house you’re in. The only lull is around halfway through, when a stretch of minimal house and techno tracks threatens to pull the set’s pleasantly eccentric mood down to stone-faced seriousness. Still, it’s a slight moment among an otherwise vibrant mix that offers an enlightening peek into Lanza’s singular world.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Jessy Lanza - DJ-Kicks Music Album Reviews Jessy Lanza - DJ-Kicks Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on December 06, 2021 Rating: 5


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