Juana Molina – Un Dia (Domino)

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It seems that some, though very few, are capable of true and unprecedented genius. One such instance of it has reared itself in the form of Un Dia, the fifth album from Argentinian folkstress Juana Molina. Without warning ‘Un Dia’ steps up: the vibrant rhythms of the title track are immediate, psychedelic, and rustic. Straight away I’m drawn to thoughts of Lucky Dragons most recent album and the strange and hypnotic vibe of their neo-tribal tunes.

‘Vive Solo is markedly different, bumping along like campfire folk, all low-key and handsome, blessed with subtle electronics and fascinating sprays of sound. Molina’ voice is charming if not exquisite on Un Dia, used much more as an instrument here than as the source of “linear narrative’ it provided on her past albums. Soon Vive Solo bursts open and a sexy groove rises up and over like a dandelion. There’ little that’s truly conventional about Un Dia, but the fact is that it is a masterpiece through its subtlty and its carefully edgy display: taking the most vibrant and textural elements of world music, folk, and electronica, and creating a fresh new sound from the meld. Molina also displays a deft ability to create something impossibly understated and bring it skillfully to the boil through veiled melodies and layered harmonies, hence the link between folk and electronica in the fabric that is the album. Acoustic guitars weave patterns and computers create fibrous tones that underpin and underlay each piece here.

There is beauty everywhere here, filled with energy and a sort of tactile disposition(particularly in the case of the magical Los Hongos De Marosa, as there is on Bjork’ Homogenic and Four Tet’s Everything Ecstatic.

But put simply, there’ no time to waste in discovering Juana Molina’ Un Dia.

Steve Phillips

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