If you follow the UK blogosphere, you’ll have noticed the improbable rise of SOPHIE and the pc-music collective throughout 2k14. Their demented and downloadable sensory-experiences have been drawing praise from both unintelligible Tumblr bloggers and the taste-making (SOPHIE – Bipp won #1 track of 2013 from XLR8R). With the sound of 80’s mall pop soaked in suspiciously sour acid, their amalgamation of vapid pop-accessibility and deliberate abrasiveness has a divisive effect on listeners. This is music you love or hate, there is no room for “meh” within the maximal mixdowns of the post-internet. Full disclosure: I love this shit.
“Lemonade” backs nonsensical vocals with a myriad of whirring textures, gut-churning kicks and some of the best bubble sounds since Tipper. “Hard” might be the b-side of this release, but in my opinion it’s the superior tune, ranking with my favorite tracks of the year. After a few warm-up listens (preview it on BLEEP), I found myself flailing in confused euphoria to SOPHIE’s genius. “Hard” flirts with a beat you can actually dance to, then unbalances it with a whirlwind of impacts, as if a torrent of discarded computer parts were cascading on onto a beat and spontaneously reassembling around the stuttering kicks. Huge props must be given to the mixing and mastering done here, very few artists attain the kind of physicality in play on Lemonade/Hard. Not content to dwell within your speakers, SOPHIE’s sounds are constantly whipping out and slapping you across the face, leaving you battered and bemused at the brief onslaught.