Drenched in sweat, your body sways among the mass of undulating flesh that fills an underground club. The room is dim, humid, and overflowing with bass-heavy pulses that shake everything. The sound suddenly cuts out, and a blanket of silence is thrown upon the chamber. The mass of individuals frantically pivot their heads, and slowly create a hole in the crowd. A single woman, dressed discordantly, stands at the center. She starts to sing . . .
Picture this: a classically trained musician develops an infatuation with the tantalizing allures of electronic dance music and 90’s pop. A student till the last, she does her extensive research by becoming a regular at a plethora of club events, always attending alone to avoid unnecessary distractions. She absorbs the sounds, studies them, and makes them her own. Tempo is the newest full-length from Russian artist Olga Bell.
After familiarizing herself with the components of club music, Bell dismantled the pieces and reassembled them into a fresh breed of pulsating, off-kilter pop. Her stunningly charismatic voice plays ringleader in these versatile, playfully creative compositions, encompassing styles including hip-hop, house, trip-hop, and footwork. The dichotomy between her intricate progressions and frivolous instrumentation is truly astounding.
The record title refers to the semi-improvisational method by which she constructed these songs; for each track, Bell would simply determine a tempo that suited the mood of that particular day, and gradually form the song’s elements around the sound of the metronome. This lends an air of delectable spontaneity to one of the most fun records released this year. If you’re seeking playful, eccentric pop, this album is for you.
– stasi (@stasisphere)