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maria minerva - Will Happiness Find Me
If Ariel Pink takes rock music history and trash-compacts it to suit his needs, then Estonian ex-pat Maria Minerva does the same with dance music. Her narcotic-laced brand of electronic music was showcased perfectly on last year's breakthrough 'Cabaret Cixous', an album which not only put a spotlight on Minerva but also the Not Not Fun imprint itself. 'Will Happiness Find Me' is that record's followup and thankfully Minerva avoids and of the usual pitfalls simply by not overthinking the critical acclaim and sticking to her guns. The shock of the new may have dissolved in 2012, but Minerva's total deconstruction of dance music tropes is still just as involving here as it was on her phenomenal breakthrough. Opening with the provocatively titled 'The Sound', we're launched straight into Minerva's modus operandi, with exotic samples crudely looped over hiccupping breaks and her own silky tones. With the recklessness of the late 80s rave set, Minerva is reframing electronic pop by ripping it apart at the seams, and it's music that is enhanced by its glaring imperfections. From the amphetamine-laced Eastern house vibes of 'I Don't Wanna Be Discovered' to the undeniably odd Good Looking throwback 'Fire' we get the sense that Minerva is the music fan done good, and a rare artist who can distil her influences without plumbing the depths of cliché and pastiche. 'Will Happiness Find Me' affirms her place as one of the most intriguing pop artists around, and if that isn't high praise we don't know what is.