Boomkat Product Review:
Demon City is an enthralling 2nd LP by the Bolivian-American musician, writer, and abolitionist formerly known as E+E: taking the form of a narrative album and statement of collective solidarity with her fellow, pioneering artists; Chino Amobi, Why Be, Rabit and Lexxi.
The follow-up to American Drift and her beautiful Moth/Lake 7” (for our Boomkat Editions) is a real group showing, drawing strength from the chaotic energy of collaboration and channelling that vitality into six finely sculpted demon-strations of what she defines as the Severo style: “an ongoing process of becoming-with, made possible by the family-networks and communities that have inspired and sustained our survival and collective search for transformative justice.”
Working with what’s to hand, rather than fetishising archaic technology, and remaining porous to the world in transition around and within her, Elysia’s work has increasingly come to define electronic music’s contemporary boundaries as a morphing soundfield framed by vaporised corporate idents, plasmic traces of south american club music, and the voices of dispossessed or non-binary people from across the world.
Arriving from a tumultuous backdrop of both American and worldwide politics, Demon City reflects her socio-political make up instrumentally, through frequencies, rhythms and their democracy within the mix, rather than lyrically. This leaves her music porous to interpretation, celebrating difference as well as similarity between the club-commanding bounce of Irreducible Horizon and the ultra-lucid clarity of Red Eyez by Lexxi, offering a wide-open sound map/mixtape of reference points reaching from social reformer Frederick Douglass and Andean heroines in the sweeping weightless dynamics of After Woman (for Bartolina Sisa), or the rights of transexuals in the album’s most surreal cut Children of Hell featuring Chino Amobi, who also aids on that piece’s aesthetic sibling Dummy Track with Why Be.