Olga Bell: Tempo review – spry melodies and restless rhythms

(One Little Indian)

It’s the spry unpredictability of Olga Bell’s vocal melodies and the restlessness of her rhythms that put her a cut above your average avant-garde producer. A former child classical pianist, the Russian-American’s last album, Krai, was a musical exploration of the far-flung edges of her homeland through folk and avant-garde electronics. Here she returns to the immediate electropop of her debut Diamonite, but with more muscle and shadow. There are thrills galore for fans of the Knife and Róisín Murphy (like Murphy’s Hairless Toys, Tempo is inspired by ball culture documentary Paris Is Burning), and nagging hooks too in the playful, compulsive herky-jerk of Randomness, the rippling, deep, dark housiness of Ritual or the seductive trip-hop of Power User.


Emily Mackay

The GuardianTramp

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