Photo by Paul Phung
The frail specter of James Blake tends to loom large over how many UK beatmakers who both sing their own songs, complemented by pitch shifting. Rudi Zygadlo came up around the same time in Glasgow, getting his start on eventual home Planet Mu in 2010. Ultimately he took the opposite tact of his English contemporary: both offered fractured beats, but Zygadlo embraced a more maximalist electronic approach in a way his fellow Glasgowian Rustie could appreciate. This week’s download comes from Rudi’s forthcoming second album, Tragicomedies>. Rippling with swift piano riffs end bearing Rudi’s self-choral harmonies, “Russian Dolls” feels fleeting until the 1/8th note bass line fastens listers in place. It’s easily one of his most pop overtures but doesn’t feel any less risky.
Rudi Zygadlo, “Russian Dolls”