Friday, March 18, 2011
Natalie Beridze, also known as Tusia Beridze, or TBA, doesn’t spend a lot of time worrying about her many aliases. Instead, she’s been literally holed up in a bunker-based studio in the former Soviet republic of Georgia making evocative, often heartbreaking glitchy techno. With three previous, critically-acclaimed albums on Thomas Brinkmann’s Max.Ernst label, Beridze has once again eclipsed her own best work on her most dazzling recording to date, The Other.
With Beridze’s subtle, expressive singing getting equal space alongside The Other’s sparse but beautiful instrumentals, comparisons to great experimental divas like Laurie Anderson, Liz Frasier, or Bjork are inevitable. The Other is stocked with the type of memorable, melancholy songs that could propel Beridze to Homogenic heights.
A member of Tbilisi, Georgia-based art collective Goslab, Beridze’s experimental textures, which recall Aphex Twin, Seefeel, and Thomas Fehlmann, are tempered by superb pop melodies. “Into Lost Moments” sounds as fresh as early O.M.D. or Depeche Mode tracks, as soft, clicky electro-rhythms bloom into a darkly emotional ballad. Likewise, “Water From Ur Eyes” is a bittersweet, glitch-pop number reminiscent of Radiohead’s recent techno-oriented tracks.
The eastern classical music-influenced instrumental track “Break,” commissioned for Ryuichi Sakamoto’s Chain Music label, reportedly made the Yellow Magic Orchestra founder cry. Pluramon’s Markus Schmickler adds vocals to “Beam Plaster,” while “Love U” is a thrilling instrumental that feels like running through the forest under a full moon. With The Other, Tusia Beridze steps into the spotlight with more acclaim for her equally engaging production and vocal talents.