- Honestly? Nina Kraviz is an artist that I've never 100% "got." As promising as her loopy, chugging house for naif and Underground Quality has been, I just couldn't muster up any warmth for "Pain in the Ass." I tried, but the title track's vamp/camp dialogue felt overly self-conscious; the sleight-of-hand gender games and thin vocals of "I'm Gonna Get You" a wee bit laboured. Her Rekids follow-up, I'm Week, comes digitally weighed down with six (!) remixes, so I sort of expected to flit through it once or twice, then file it away. Well, colour me presumptuous.
Kraviz is a gifted but seemingly untrained singer, and that's never worked in her favour moreso than on "I'm Week." It's either a live vocal recording, or a convincing facsimile of one, and while it remains comfortably within the limits of her range, it comes to life with soulfulness and intimacy. The lyrics themselves are impossible to discern, but even so—surrounded by mist clouds of pads, carried by a sultry, slow late-night tempo—"I'm Week" is how I wish Nina Kraviz, the vocalist, has always sounded.
With "Tanya", she toys with a funk bass riff, and slips into another of her spoken word personas—"I will never leave you. I'm your friend. Since now and forever"—but both these things are mere red herrings, tossed aside for the deep, circular, voodoo hypnotism that follows. It's all about the looped layers: a crackling vinyl string sample, then wispy "uh-huh"s, cowbells, sung refrains, handclaps, whispers, a chirping metal whistle and a human whistle with a melody that will repeat itself inside your head for days. As its virtually solid waveform can attest, there are no discernible peaks or troughs to be found in "Tanya," just primal, throbbing sound saturation from start to finish.
To give seriously short shrift to Melon, Mendo, Alexkid and Lewis Boardman, their remixes simply don't add to or subtract from the appeal of "I'm Week" and "Tanya." They're good, serviceable mixes, but fade to near translucence next to these two full-bodied, textured, idiosyncratic and wildly different sides of Kraviz.
A I'm Week
Digital: I'm Gonna Get You (Melon's Deeper Instrumental Version)
Digital: I'm Gonna Get You (Melon's Deeper Version)
Digital: I'm Gonna Get You (Melon's X Rated Version)
Digital: I'm Gonna Get You (Mendo Remix)
Digital: Pain in the Ass (Alexkid Remix)
Digital: Pain in the Ass (Lewis Boardman Greatest Pain In Tha Arse Remix)