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4 Women No Cry Vol. 3

(Monika Enterprise; US: Available as import; UK: 17 Nov 2008)

Gudrun Gut has done it again. Although the 4 Women No Cry series isn’t exactly a trend defining beacon, the Monika founder has managed for a third time to find four talented women who either should be on the verge of indie pop stardom or are at least interesting enough to not detract from the others. Columbia’s The Sound of Lucrecia kicks off Vol. 3 on a high note with four strong pieces of downtempo electro-pop bordering on somber indie rock. Her electric piano driven, Spanish sung work of ethereality “De Vez En Cuando” is one of this volume’s clear prizes, and, with a little added distortion, “Come To My Past” wouldn’t sound out of place as a Raveonettes b-side. She is clearly on the verge.


Next up is Athens’s Manekinekod. From the sounds of it, she has lofty aspirations of being the next Pole. While I consider that an admirable goal, she still has a ways to go. There is something intriguing in her dense, analogue, fuzz pile compositions already, but they need a little something more before they’ll grace the Raster-Noton catalogue. Julia Shammas Holter follows up Manekinekod with a handful of tunes on the opposite end of the spectrum. What Holter’s Bibio like, lo-fi, sunshine collage surrealism lacks in distinct melodies or hooks, she more than makes up for with absurdly toy like instrumentation and bizarre lounge vocals. I don’t think she could sustain a full-length by herself quite yet, but that day is approaching.


Liz Christine of Rio De Janeiro finishes the disc off with four sample-constructed pieces somewhere between Gavin Byers and Old MacDonald’s farm. “Dreaming” descends into the sounds of sheep, ducks, dogs, and cats over a minimal, tribal techno beat. Her sounds are cleaner than those of Ms. Holter, which helps make her that much more unearthly. She is like Leila (Warp Records) meets Negativland. I can hardly wait to see where she goes from here. Overall, it’s another rousing success for Gudrun Gut. Long live 4 Women No Cry.

Rating:

Author of blurbs, curator of playlists, and booker of shows, Alan Ranta has been plugging away at that music writing and programming thing since 2004. His brutally honest critical opinion has appeared in such publications as Exclaim!, CBC Music, PopMatters and Tiny Mix Tapes, and has been enlisted to help judge the Polaris Music Prize, Pazz & Jop, and Juno Awards. Based in East Van, he graduated with a BFA in music from Simon Fraser University in 2012. He's also a social media plague, cat whisperer, socio-political haranguer, Canucks fan, and one of the last remaining cowboys.


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