Nadia Struiwigh’s new edges and obtuse angles are coloured in cool electronic blues, radiant in its digital network of leaking synths and square, blocky beats. The Rotterdam-based DJ and producer’s WHRRu (Where are you) is her first full-length album and her first for Denovali Records, and her downtempo electronica represents a breath of fresh, synthesized air.
Although comparisons with the likes of Boards of Canada or early Pye Corner Audio are inevitable, they feel like tired and slack name-checks, because Struiwigh’s music is hers and hers alone; her music is a very different animal. Staccato sequences and deep synth melodies collide within the music’s spacious framework. Her electronic music is in the prime of its life, funnelling through the mix at a decent, sustained pace while managing to remain downtempo. The ten tracks are breathy electronic constructions, fizzling like a can of Fanta under the mind’s eternally-warm sunshine and then retreating into its cooler caverns. Cherry-sweet reminiscences lie underneath, brought out by the natural sound of guitar and piano. The resurfacing adds up, as WHHRu’s emotions and memories were taken from Struiwigh’s childhood.
The use of acoustic instruments and synthesizers gave me the opportunity to settle a past/ future concept for all the chapters. Going back to those moments helped me to close a book and to ?nd a safe place within myself. My own story has just started.
Decoded and inserted into her music, some memories flicker into life with the grainy imagery of an old and well-worn VHS tape, its fading, stained colours and warped images permeating today’s thoughts. From the rumbling, bass-driven earthquake of ‘Yoguah’ to the staccato stutters of ‘Bldrnnr’, Struiwigh’s electronica is dense and ever-altering, but it still manages to chill. ‘4othu2’ screams with its ghost-box sounds and wailing spirits, its séance atmosphere inviting in one of life’s black-spots, an unexplainable X File, its ectoplasmic residue dripping from the blood-red, looping synth. Nadia Struiwigh’s music is a whole new world. Like a pair of new shoes, it feels both comfortable and new.