If the internet gives us unlimited access to the world’s music, why is it that the majority of us Brits rarely look beyond the UK or North America? Pessimists might argue it’s solipsism; that we’re too self-involved to enjoy songs performed in other languages. More likely, we simply don’t know where to begin our search, which is why guidance from trusted sources is vital.
When Grimes previewed Art Angels with ‘Scream’ last November, she gave a platform to Taipei-based rapper Aristophanes 貍貓 – real name Pan Wei Ju. Listening to the latter spit in Mandarin over ominous surf-guitar, it remains impossible not to be awed. Darting between a seductive whisper and a curdled cry, her lightning-fast flow is dripping with dreamy sensuality and visceral menace. Drill down into the lyrics and you realise the poetic power of her rhymes, which are littered with couplets like, “A herd of deer run past the window and at the same time / Blue winds are dispelled so quickly, wiping out the foams on the margin of the world.”
Her solo work is equally impressive, be it the electronic, jazz-inspired atmospherics of January’s No Rush To Leave Dreams EP or the aptly- titled track ‘3001: a space disco’, which was produced by Arcade Fire’s Will Butler. We owe Grimes a huge debt of thanks, and we owe it to ourselves as music fans to look beyond what’s familiar.
Live: Birthdays – July 8th