The Lady Blacktronika, Untitled 15

[Untitled & After]


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Often called the “first lady of beatdown,” Lady Blacktronika’s title could just as easily be the first lady of bewilderment. Whether by design or as a consequence of her process her tracks fit together like disjointed Picasso paintings where unusual timing and discordant tonal pairings yield surprisingly harmonious and memorable results. The California-based producer adds thematic bafflement to her repertoire on Untitled 15 for Untitled & After, taking advantage of an occasionally ambiguously gendered voice to keep listeners guessing about the narrative thrust of “Another Man (You’re On the DL).” Swinging from jarring verses to bittersweet refrains, the instrumental unsettles and intrigues without offering answers. “Luv Hate Us” is similarly adrift in dissonant tonal currents as she bellows “Why do we love love?” like Antony Hegarty. But Untitled 15 lingers in the mind, if not on the dance floor, because it couldn’t have been made by anyone besides Lady Blacktronika.

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Blaktony  on August 20, 2010 at 3:53 AM

First lady of beatdown? i’m a believer….nice track.

Expatriarch  on August 20, 2010 at 5:42 AM

i’m glad awareness is spreading on this producer! however Blacktronika has made it clear that it’s not her own voice on “Another Man”: http://soundcloud.com/msladyblacktronika/another-man-youre-on-the-dl-ii
and it comes across as a bit sexist to assume so. not ti judge, but rather to educate.

by the way you can stream the other track “Luv Hate Us” on Expatriarch Radio: http://www.bln.fm/2010/07/expatriarch-05/

littlewhiteearbuds  on August 20, 2010 at 8:18 AM

We appreciate the info, but you could have spared us the accusation of sexism (even if you immediately backpedaled). It would’ve been sexist to say, “This is pretty good for a woman,” but there’s no sexism present in an innocent presumption that the female-ish voice is that of the producer who often sings on her own records.

Ewan  on August 21, 2010 at 6:52 AM

Surely a track called “Another Man” with references to being on the downlow is pretty unambiguously gendered?

Fit track though.

littlewhiteearbuds  on August 21, 2010 at 9:02 AM

With vocals that bounce between sounding like a man and like a woman, this could really go either way.

Expatriarch  on August 25, 2010 at 6:07 AM

Re: sexism, it comes in many shades. Like racism, it’s institutionalized and we might be reinforcing it without even realizing it. LBW’s assumption was innocuous, but worth bringing up, coming from an angle knowing that women in dance music are often perceived as vocalists first, and producers second (or not at all). Thanks for your consideration and keep up the good work!

Anton  on August 25, 2010 at 9:58 AM

I’m all for being sensitive to latent sexism, but I think it’s just important not to find sexism where it doesn’t exist — like in giving a producer MORE credit than the work requires (being credited as both producer and vocalist, as here initially). The way the electronic dance scene categorizes and belittles female producers is indeed problematic, so let’s focus on those cases instead of a bit of critical generosity.

kayne  on August 31, 2010 at 11:33 PM

Much more interesting: ‘Why do we love love?’ sample comes from Jazmine Sullivan – Lions, Tigers And Bears. Ossie from the UK did a nice remix of it here:

http://soundcloud.com/ossieproducer/jazmine-sullivan-lions-and-tigers-and-bears-ossie-remix-1

Both Untitled 15 tracks are great, nice Antony Hegarty/Grace Jones ambiguity to them, beautiful melodies – go Lady Blacktronika!

Thank you LWE for this rec, keep up the good work!

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