fri 01/03/2024

Album: LOUISAHHH - The Practice of Freedom (HE SHE THEY ) | reviews, news & interviews

Album: LOUISAHHH - The Practice of Freedom (HE.SHE.THEY.)

Album: LOUISAHHH - The Practice of Freedom (HE.SHE.THEY.)

Industrial dance pounding of various flavours from New Yorker via Paris

Somewhere in dance culture or other, the Eighties revival has now been going on more than twice as long as the actual Eighties did. Starting around 1998, it reached an initial peak in the early 2000s as the dayglo-fashion led electroclash, but though the eye of the press moved away, it never really died away.

European or Europhile fusions of electropop and industrial, taking in more obscure styles like coldwave, new beat and EBM (electronic body music), have been current and fully functional on one dancefloor or another ever since. 

It’s squarely into this milieu that Louisa Pillott – “LOUISAHHH” – fits. The New Yorker relocated to Paris makes and DJs a flavour of techno that’s archetypally post-EBM: stylishly arch and cold in superficial demeanour, hot and sweaty in the delivery, its deadpan lyrics obsessed with kinks and extremity, its primary tonalities being snarl, screech and punch. And all of that is collected in what is, perhaps surprisingly given she’s been releasing records for a decade, her debut album. 

The Practice of Freedom (HE.SHE.THEY.) explores this ground at a variety of tempos, from grinding to pummelling, and it’s a mixed bag. Pillott is a confident performer as well as producer, and a striking lyricist. Lines like “a ‘no’ is a hard no / everything else is a yes” capture core questions about consent and power in a way that feels like a part of hedonism, not an overconceptualised commentary on it. For much of the record, these qualities combine to conjure a perfect balance of sophistication and wild abandon. But almost as often, and particularly when things get a bit more rock-like (see “Love is a Punk”), the music can feel forced. When rhythm and sound are dominant, it’s amazing; when more traditional song structures creep in, less so. But if you want a razor edged updated version of that Eighties industrial buzz, there’s plenty to enjoy here.


Listen to "Numb, Undone": 

Louisahhh - Numb, Undone (Official Video) from Quentin Keriven on Vimeo.

When rhythm and sound are dominant, it’s amazing


Editor Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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