The latest release from Berlin-based Anna Vtorova aka Machine Woman is not quite what we expected. Where ‘For Sweden’ her debut vinyl release for Peder Mannerfelt Produktion or the Tesla Tapes released ‘Pink Silk’ cassette explored brooding hybrids of noise and industrial techno, ‘Genau House’ show’s Vtorova’s softer side.
According to the press release, the 12” is the product of a series of misfiring Tinder dates Vtorova went on, expressing a combination of longing and technological angst. ’I can mend your broken heart’ certainly seems to fit the blueprint. AGF reminiscent vocals open the track, fluttering plosive’s filling the stereo field. As intoxicating chords roll out beneath a resilient 4/4 stomp, Vtorova’s vocals become increasingly obscured - however far from detracting from them this only adds to their seductive quality. A teeming forest of glitches and roughshod snares both cement the track’s rhythm and push it into the realms of Jan Jelinek inspired oddity.
‘Friday Night’ on the other hand expresses a more direct form of lust. As muscular as the chunkiest of Kris Wadsworth offerings, the track bumps and grinds at a lethargic tempo, swelling bass and low-pitched vocals drawling out agonisingly. ‘You feel alone’ is repeated like a kind of 8am comedown mantra, while drilling percussion jerks the listener to and fro.
The release is rounded off with a remix of the a-side offering from hardware extraordinaire Kassem Mosse. Mosse cuts the track down to its bare essentials, pulling Vtorova’s softly spoken vocals forward to almost uncomfortable levels of intimacy.
It’s slightly strange to think this is only the second release from esteemed UK label Where To Now? we’ve reviewed, and even more odd considering it’s not quite typical of the rest of their catalogue. To my mind the label is best defined by oddball sonic experiments from the likes of Jesse Osborne-Lanther or Nicola Ratti, which border on the conceptual. This said, if there’s one artist that was going to provide an undoubtedly floor friendly release that simultaneously fits their avante-garde aesthetic, Machine Woman was always going to be a good match. From both her and Where To Now?, we look forward to the next surprise.