We are loving Louisahhh!!!’s new EP, Shadow Work. And how could we not? With its Jungian spoken word, compact beats, and psychotropic vibe, the Bromance records doyenne’s techno is like her iconic eyeshadow — dark, savage, and on-point.
Inspired by Jung’s theories on pitched-down personas as coping mechanisms, on ‘Shadow Work’, the LA-based former New York club kid explores her darker sides, yielding five blistering tracks of sinister techno in the embrace. A vague shadow of the Human League — the austere, throbbing synths, her icy, new wave look — lingers but is ultimately inconsequential. Louisahhh!!!’s manic beats, and panic-mode vocal filters take programming places retro pastiche misses by decades. Her “moody oracle” techno is a chimera. Its roots can be found in 2013’s 'Transcend' 12”, 2014’s 'Traces' EP, and on recent collaborations with Maelstrom (her partner in their upcoming label, RAAR).
Lest there be any squeamish recriminations, ’Shadow Work’ declares its intent from the onset. “Ready” opens with a minimal beat that spirals upward as her monologue intensifies. “The dialogue of the martyr makes me sick”, “drawn and quartered like a moth to the flame,” and “the gutting is necessary”, are just a few of the thoughts that worm, rattle, and percolate throughout the track. On the slinky and instantly addictive ‘Change' she teases, “In my soul I got a snag, see if you can find it” over a seasick groove peppered with a rhythmic stutter that burrows its way into your subconscious. Similarly on ‘Ego’, haunting acid-laced beats and smouldering incantations whittle away at your vertebrae. On ‘Want’, she romances the id, “Greed is good”-Gecko style, “It’s good to want…t’s not enough, don’t ever stop”.
Hailed as the “Queen of French Techno”, an early partner in crime to Danny Daze, celebrated as an integral member of Brodinski’s Bromance label, Louisahhh!!! set out to confront uneasy themes like “unrequited longing and desire, transformation, the frustration of trying and failing”. By all counts, her shadow work has paid off. As she concludes on ‘Ready’, “fuck salvation”.
If this is damnation, can we have a +1?
10/9 - Berlin, Germany @ Haubentaucher
10/15 - Nantes, France @ Opium
10/16 - Paris, France @ Bromance Showcase
10/17 - Toulouse, France @ Le Bikini
10/24 - Besancon, France @ La Mez
2. Change (Original Mix)
6. Change (Radio Edit)
WORDS: JORGE HERNANDEZ