- Animus, the debut album from the New York-based artist Debit, is inspired by internal conflict relating to gender presentation, or, as the label N.A.A.F.I. puts it, "the gendered body's inner struggle between the personal consciousness and the social consciousness of their sexuality in a spectrum of codified sex." It seems like a jump in tone from, say, the club bootlegs Debit contributed to N.A.A.F.I.'s Pirata 4 compilation from last year. As with that release, though, Animus is defined by its melee of genres—in this case, ambient, grime and techno, among others. It's a record both for the dance floor and the chill-out room.
You could easily call most dance music LPs "cross genre," and that's how Debit describes Animus. But that quality is especially intrinsic to this LP. As she explained in a recent interview with FACT, "I wanted to prioritise tones, harmonics and less-defined note progressions over typical or elaborate melodies. Crossing [these] genres didn't feel like a huge stretch… it created tension and movement that perhaps I couldn't have done within the constraints of a single genre."
The LP never stays in one place for long, moving from dance tracks to experimental ambient. The former are heard mostly in the record's first half. Standouts in this section include "Audiacious" and "Gauzy," both of which make use of Debit's knack for producing strong textural sounds. The second half is made up of a variety of ambient styles, where the album's depth of ideas is most striking. Take the replenishing gong bath of "Lamat," or the cosmic soundscape of "Realist." Then there's "Anamnesis," featuring N.A.A.F.I. labelmate Zutzut, whose melancholic synths offer a moment to take stock before the LP pivots again.
Animus's rich atmospheres make for tracks that are both emotional and reflective. One of the best examples of this is its closer, the painfully sweet, acoustic guitar-laced ambient of "Epigone." The "gendered body's inner struggle" that Debit describes would be hard for any record to capture. But the album's myriad of sounds, synths and tones give a sense of the vastness and complexity of this interior world.
01. Nadie Diga
05. Matriz feat. Wasted Fates
06. Anamnesis feat. Zutzut
09. Power Chords