Every couple of months there are albums that come out that absolutely shine on the “cool” electronic music sites. The record flies to the top of end of year lists and helps cement that artist as a big name in the underground. Beatrice Dillon has done just that. The London-based experimental techno producer, DJ, and composer released her new album Workaround this past Friday and that album is her early entry for one of the premier electronic albums of the year.
Workaround will be something for chin-stroker stardom. However, it isn’t overly experimental, droning or seemingly designed to be the background noise at a Modern Art Museum exhibit. Workaround is fun, weird and good, combining disparate drums and fleeting melodies. The album covers a lot of ground, but is grounded in quirky, staggering melodies and dubby percussion.
We get a sense of that with the hypnotic opener where playful drums flutter around the mix. We feel a slight change on the next track “Workaround Two” as a heavy kick starts to dominate the record with soft pads floating in the background and saxophone.
The album continues to evolve with the beautiful strings and upright bass on “Workaround Seven” or the skittering drums on “Workaround Eight.”
The album does settle into some more subdued sections, despite staying pretty centered around 150 BPM. “Workaround Four” builds on the percussion from the previous tracks with snaps and claps underneath a slow morphing melody. She exercises restraint with a mind for interesting minimalism that is well executed on this album.
Many experimental albums can be quite jarring to listen to and that is often the point. Workaround seems to fly by and elements from one song often subtly bleed into the next. Various elements are used with surgical precision, using the empty space to contrast differing percussion.
Workaround is out now and will give Dillon a boost for the rest of the year and beyond. This is the type of work that will enamor types like me in our ivory keyboard towers, but also should translate to a wider audience.
Stream the record now or order your copy online via PAN.