- It takes an extraordinary amount of hubris to call yourself The First Lady of Beatdown after only a few years on the scene. (Although we probably shouldn't rule out the words of a misguided label either.) But The Lady Blacktronika may have a point. There are only a few female producers and DJs chasing the Beatdown sound. Blacktronika's particular take on the slower-than-slow genre, though, has quickly won her followers from around the world. That should continue on the back of this EP, the inaugural release from Your Only Friend.
Blacktronika's tracks have always been vocal-heavy. Singing came before beats for her, and she delights in its possibilities, often putting it on top of itself or taking moments and looping them into infinity. Like the pounding inevitability of the beats, it's absolutely hypnotic. The Dark Love Beatdown Dub of "Lose My Life" begins with what sounds like four ecstatic Blacktronikas, melismatically swirling around without an anchor until a four note piano melody comes in to give you a sign as to where we are going.
The direction is deep, of course. And aside from the upbeat "Summertime in the City," which features frequent collaborator Mattski, that's exactly where we get to. "Never Everything" is particularly notable, as it's stripped almost completely of the usual dance music content. The bassline bounces between a few notes, there is a tinkling piano sample, a kick and Blacktronika's voice front and center. The effect is reminiscent of Steve Reich's "It's Gonna Rain" in a way. It stands to reason that only a lady with enough hubris as Blacktronika could pull it off.
01. Lose My Life
02. Lose My Life (Dark Love Beatdown Dub)
03. Summertime In The City
04. Never Everything