This restless innovator breaks the binaries of electronic music into pieces in order to build something more utopian.
For Loraine James, the blurring of lines – between club rhythms and experimental sounds, agony and ecstasy, continuity and rupture, storm and sequel – comes naturally. Over the past few years, through a prolific stream of albums, EPs, montages and releases, James has developed one of the most distinctive sounds in contemporary electronic music, in which IDM, grime, ambient, techno, rap and noise collide. an incredibly unstable fusion. The fall of 2019 marked the good arrival of James: released on the famous London label Hyperdub, his revolutionary album For you and me wrapped her opposing tendencies in a deeply personal, by turns tender and confrontational statement about the life of a young, queer, working-class black woman in contemporary London.
The praise poured in and his reservations multiplied. Then, of course, came the pandemic. James responded to the uncertainty by delving deeper into his volatile sonic world. After a stretch of Experiences reserved for Bandcamp, she came back at the beginning of the summer with Reflection, an album that amplifies everything that makes the particularity of his music: vulnerability, expressiveness, sheer force of will. It also marks James’s growing interest in the collaboration, with features from rapper Le3 bLACK, Zurich-born experimenter Xzavier Stone, and even chillwave Baths veteran. In the album’s closing track, Manchester rapper Iceboy Violet gives voice to the twin senses of struggle and purpose that run through James’ music, addressing police violence and capitalist oppression before offering a proud counterpoint: âWe bop, we flex, we grooveâ¦. We are building something new. James’ work takes us inside this reconstruction, in all its beautiful tumult. –Philip Sherburne