December 8th, 2010 10:18am
Talking To Himself On The Phone
Anika’s debut album, a collaboration with Geoff Barrow and the members of Beak, is essentially a love letter to the output of 99 Records and Ze Records in the early 80s. It’s all in the rhythms, the drum fills, the tones, the melodies, the vocal style, and most especially the negative space. A lot of this album comes out sounding like ESG if they had been fronted by a drowsy, more heavily accented version of Cristina. This is catnip for record nerds, but its appeal goes beyond mere pastiche. Barrow is a genius of texture and composition, every sound has the perfect ring to it — never too fuzzy, never too crisp, always just so without seeming fussy. In some ways, you can look at a song like “Yang Yang” as a variation on what Portishead did on Third, but with a looser, more playful tone. Anika’s voice adds a great texture to the songs and the music was clearly composed to complement her style, but there’s no question that you come to this record for Barrow.
Buy it from Amazon.