Sofie Loizou – The Magenta Incident (demo)


Sofie Loizou keeps pretty anonymous. Part of the Southern Outpost collective, Loizou produces Detroit-flavoured electro that’s played by DJs such as Juan Atkins, Rolando and Claude Young. She DJs too, playing sets at Red Bull Academy bar at Sonar in Barcelona after a stint at the South African edition of the Red Bull Academy. She grew up on rave, studied music at university and now runs the Tweak Laboratory music studio producing everything from advertising jingles to soundtracks, as well as helping kids at the Cellblock Youth Health Centre in Stanmore.

Her (as yet unreleased) demo starts with a wash of ambience. Micro-granular glitch swells out of slow building synths on Lost. A voice appears in the Bjork/Joanna Newsom tradition, while manhandled guitar notes and pipes show up amongst the intricately assembled elements. But despite the pretty moment, the song is strangely disaffecting, and oddly, the micro-variations so far down in the mix wrest attention from the singer.

Complete with home printed artwork, The Magenta Incident is packed with ideas. The titles alone give that away – the future obsession of Detroit – Bio Mimicry, Pathosfinder. Electro beats, swelling synthesizer crescendos and digital manipulations, but the ideas are often production ideas at the expense of creative ones.

The dub skank of Pathosfinder feels like the work of someone great at programming drums, but who just can’ lock them together into rhythm. Forgive me if that’s the point, or beside the point. Worse is the “pro singer’ inflection on Driven Snow. Still, those criticisms fall away with the final two tracks. Closing track Millions is a starkly pretty song, while the title track’s layers of sound and clattering drum breaks nod to broken beat, disco and Detroit electro jazz.

Find out more at Tweak Laboratory.

Matthew Levinson