Boomkat Product Review:
The C.A.N.V.A.S label assemble a cast of mutant pop oddities featuring warped takes on Gaelic-language mumblecore cloudrap, modern shoegaze and computer noise from Elvin Brandhi, Lugh, and Olan Monk, Nadah El Shazly, Billy Bultheel (Anne Imhof), Alpha Maid and more.
With ‘Apocope’, the exploratory label interrogate the limits of pop music’s meaning in the age of a slow burning apocalypse, and under the shadow of a rising hyper-pop zeitgeist. The compilation’s title literally means “the omission of the final sound of a word”, as in the way people naturally elide or trim words to fit the flow of speech, and with it, conveys more meaning than the literal words themselves - a sense of style, time, and place that pop music has long been key in shaping. In this context, the artists draw very canny links between the onomatopoeia of shoegaze and mumbecore rap, between lonely bedroom blues strung over nearly a century of amplified woes, but expressing a sound very much for the here and now of the scorched-in-advance 2020s.
As with the label’s super smart 2019 set ‘Cipher’, they live up to their acronymic moniker with a set that metaphorically unpackages far more than is immediately obvious to the eye/ear, unfolding along linguistic, sonic, and philosophic vectors with a penetrating perception of pop music growing under the mainstream. They embrace onomatopoeia as a profound form of precognition in the likes of Elvin Brandi’s wickedly unintelligible, but palpably fraught, vocal gurns on ‘FRIDGE! Ez virus’ and in the mangled autotune of her ‘Cekik’ cut with Hulubalang, while Olan Monk appears to adapt Irish Gaelic lyrics to mumblecore cloudrap with results that brilliantly follow along a line from A.R. Kane to Spaceghostpurp and Future.
Factor in the diffracted blooz of Alpha Maid; a bombed-out beauty by Billy Bultheel (key player on the soundtrack to Anne Imhof’s award winning ‘Faust’); and the bittersweet flux of Nadah El Shazly’s hyper collage of Egyptian pop and computer noise in ’Fl3ln’; and it’s possible to hear the future collapsing in on itself, but also galvanising listeners to comprehend the present and find hope for what comes next.