Jessy Lanza’s second album ‘Oh No’ is addressed to her own constant nervousness. The pressure of music making, which used to calm her nerves, has led to a whole new world of contingencies that stoke the anxiety mill. The exclamation ‘Oh No’, for Jessy, marks yet another incident of randomness interrupting her tranquillity. All of which seems at odds with the confidence and spontaneity of this second album as well as recent collaborationswith the likes of Caribou, DJ Spinn and Morgan Geist and his Galleria project.
Made in her hometown of Hamilton, Ontario, with production partner Jeremy Greenspan from Junior Boys, the plaintive, reverb drizzled mood of the first album has all but given away to a more direct, self-assured and joyful album. As with many artists whose hometown lie off the usual network of cultural hotspots, ‘Oh No’ is driven positively by the idea of making music that isn’t inspired by where she lives. Instead, the album resonates more with the philosophy of experimental pop of Japanese 80s electro outfit Yellow Magic Orchestra and Jessy’s breathless, pitched vocals are reminiscent of YMO collaborator Miharu Koshi. Playfully laced with cascading arpeggios, crispy drum machines and breezy songs, ‘Oh No’ has an infectious energy that has been brewing in her live shows since her first album. As Jessy says ‘I want to make people feel good and I want to make myself feel good’.
The album oscillates between the languid, coiled, arpeggiated slow jams of ‘New Ogi’, ‘GoingSomewhere’, ‘Begins’, ‘Could be u’, ‘I Talk BB’ and the low slung 808 groove of ‘Vivaca’, where Jessy’s vocal gymnastics run wild over minimal drums and synths, and the catchy upbeat boogie of ‘VV Violence’, ‘Never Enough’, ‘OhNo’ and the high point of ‘It Means I Love You” which has a sparse addictive bounce with a pitched up vocal refrain and a nod to Shangaan electro.
The trials of dealing with nervousness are also encrypted into the artwork, such as the plants that recur in the sleeve and videos.As Jessy remarked, “I became obsessed with surrounding myself with tropical plants. I’ve been convinced that the air quality in our house is slowly killing us. It might sound crazy but the plants have made a huge difference.”
Anxiety and botanical remedies or not, ‘Oh No’ is a bold second album from Jessy and a marked step forward for her sound. Catch her as shetours with Junior Boys in February, plays EU headline shows from May to June, and in July has a North American Tour.
Born on the south side of Chicago, Dante Sanders (a.k.a. DJ Taye) has produced and released well over a dozen short EP’s and full-length LP’s. Producing since the age of 12 and DJing since the age of 15, Taye officially joined Ghettotekz (reformed as Teklife now) in October of 2010. His continued efforts to release mixes and tracks out into the world of dance music has done quite a bit for the career of Teklife’s youngest member. With notable international recognition for his work, with tracks like “Get Em Up” and “Bombaklot” (a collaboration with DJ Earl and the late DJ Rashad) featured on the 10.1 anniversary compilation for Kode9’s imprint Hyperdub.
DJ Taye represents the in this sense the continuation and the future of the Chicago footwork sound. Over the last few years DJ Taye has traveled within the US and has played heavily in and around Chicago, both as a solo DJ and with the support of his Teklife crew. In 2014, Taye toured across Europe with Teklife counterpart DJ Earl, which added more buzz to the sounds the young musician is making. His music speaks for itself, and the continual output of energy that he creates within his music gets the world to gravitate towards his unique sound.
Montréal musician Marie Davidson intones poetically over dark, heavy synths and drum beats, her vocals blending with sweeping techno to conjure a moody cinematic atmosphere. Using analogueue synthesizers and sequencers supplemented with violins and other instruments, Davidson builds layers of cold sound for her captivating voice to cut through, sometimes melancholy and detached, sometimes biting. Davidson’s projects include Essaie Pas, Constellation Records-signed Les Momies de Palerme (a duo with fellow multi-instrumentalists Xarah Dion), and DKMD with David Kristian (Fur Trade Recordings), boasting performances at music festivals Suoni per Il Popolo, Pop Montreal, Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville, Festival Voix d’Amériques and MUTEK 2012 (opening for Tim Hecker and Stephen O’Malley). After a disarming solo EP on Texas label Holodeck, Davidson released her debut LP “Perte d’identité” on Brussels-based label Weyrd Son Records in April 2014, featuring a bonus track remixed by Cristobal Urbina and The Mole.