Ultraísta Ultraísta… Nothing to do with Italian football hooliganism

Review: Ultraísta – Ultraísta

Published on October 13th, 2012 | Jonny Abrams

…in which superproducer Nigel Godrich (Radiohead, Beck, Pavement, The Divine Comedy etc.) teams up with a long-term collaborator, producer/drummer Joey Waronker, and the fresher talent of Dimbleby & Capper vocalist/producer Laura Bettinson. Suffice it to say the presence of Godrich has been enough to generate widespread interest in Ultraísta, but there’s more than enough about this album to have walked on its own two feet regardless.

Hypnotic opener “Bad Insect” places a tremendous thwomping wobble-skank of a beat under Bettinson’s airily rich vocals and some enraptured, swirling synthery, before “Gold Dayzz”, initially a slippery shuffle poised with string, suddenly flowers with synth while retaining its compellingly sparse nocturnalism, Tricky lurking in a smokey corner while Kate Bush dances wispily to the clever, subtly lovely vocal melody.

“Static Light” then pops and clicks its way beguilingly into the gorgeous “Strange Formula”, a whirring synth bass-driven piece of gently sifting, sublimely understated space(d)-pop, and then onto the delicious dark-pop of “Easier”, which is echo-ishly receded within its mix in a Selected Ambient Works sort of way.

“Party Line” is very different to the Kinks song of the same name, piano-chiselled light at the end of tunnel that it is, and the consummately washing, er, “Wash It Over” underpins buzzing, sustained synth notes and light pop vocals with a soft samba beat. Finally, hypnotic closer (check that bookending!) “You’re Out” escorts us to the exit through a lysergically decorated tunnel, and thusly is Ultraísta‘s sharp, concise introduction completed. Let’s hope there’s a second round for elaboration.

Rocksucker says: Three and a Half Quails out of Five!

a quaila quaila quailhalf a quail

Ultraísta is out now on Temporary Residence. For more information, please visit www.ultraista.co.uk

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About the Author

Editor of Rocksucker and the website's founder, Jonny is passionate about the music he listens to, both good and bad, as well as interviewing his favourite musicians.