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"4 Women No Cry vol. 3"

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This collection featuring four artists from different countries is strung together by the conceits that all of the artists are relatively unknown and all of them are women.  The disc is agreeably diverse, taking turns through lo-fi pop, fuzzy electronics, and odd singer-songwriter territory.


Monika Enterprise 

Liz Christine - 4 Women No Cry, Vol. 3

Colombian musician Lucrecia kicks things off with four tracks of simply stated but effective pop music.  I'll admit that the rudimentary drum machine and rigid piano chords that opened the first song had me thinking that I would hate the intentionally stiff aesthetic, but by the time the song got rolling, I was with it.  "De Vez En Cuando" is particularly effective as it builds with guitar and vibes over a looping handclap and snap rhythm.  All of The Sound of Lucrecia's work is lo-fi, but that home-made sound adds to its intimate appeal.

The compilation skips to Greece with Manekinekod, whose clicks and dub bursts wouldn't sound out of place in the ~scape catalog.  Manekinekod uses fragments of melody to suggest a mood, and it works well when she mixes the scattered rhythms with voices and samples.  While I feel like I've heard a lot of music like this before from Bip-Hop and ~scape, a few of these tracks stood out enough that I'd be interested to catch Manekinekod's act live, or to pick up a full length. 

American Julia Holter takes a detour into the disc's most challenging quadrant.  Her work is playful and seems to incorporate toy instruments and fresh melodic turns, though I found it a little too dissonant to be as fun as she probably intended.  Again, as on Lucrecia's first song, Holter works with a forced stiffness and an outsider-music type of production style that rubs me the wrong way.  I think she can make some of this sound better, but the point is for it to sound rough and untrained and I'm just not buying it.

The disc ends in Brazil for four tracks from Liz Christine who combines an alarming number of animal sounds with bitcrushed rhythms, field recordings, and spoken word.  While this is probably the least approachable set of songs on the album for a pop music purist, I found the looped and layerd nature of the work to be consistently interesting.  I can't say that I know what she's doing with all of the cats and frogs and other animal sounds, but my dogs certainly got a kick out of hearing those samples coming from the speakers.  I don't know that I'll revisit these compositions all that often, but I did really enjoy "Dreaming" with its incongruous mix of dog barks, duck honks, and nearly danceable beats.



Last Updated on Friday, 20 March 2009 03:18  


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