Simultaneously elusive and earnest, Yola Fatoush's deconstructed electronic art-pop thrives off duo's infatuation with implementing opposing textures and dynamics: loud/quiet, tense/soothing, male/female, major/minor, austerity/chaos, positive/negative, conflicted/resolved - embracing the elements at odds.
Up Out Of It is a wildly diverse offering, evoking a feeling of ascent though the tension. The secular gospel and murky dub techno structures that unfold on the opener "Eagle Works" set you up for an album of original zig-zagging pop informed by futurist club sounds drawing upon mutant strains of dancehall, Chicago house, contemporary R&B, ballroom, juke, and pre-So Solid UK garage. In the deepest part of album's valley lies their Robert Owens cover, "I'm Chained", transforming the club track into something abstracted yet deeply soulful. The pace picks up again with the Balearic leaning "Come Forward" before the energy peaks with the 2-steppin R&B-pop of "Vibrant" and the chaotic rhythms turned nervous circuit funk of "Strix Nebulosa". (digital LP)
They make immersive, transcendental trip-outs that weave diverse, unpredictable rhythms with rich chord progressions into intricate dance structures.
It’s R&B ripped apart and reconstructed with all the bits in the wrong order – great
On their beguiling first full-length, the London duo have cast the genre net a little wider, adeptly producing and singing in an impressive number of styles informed by niche house and techno, from Chicago to South Africa.
The resulting record isn’t far from Nguzunguzu in places, filtering the tropes of urban radio and contemporary club music through a chilly, dystopic lens, as on the frenetic juke cut Are We Divided. At other times, Yola Fatoush skew much closer to the lineage of UK dance, as with the aptly titled Vibrant, which marries skittering beats with the perky pop-garage sub-bass and female vocals.