Boomkat Product Review:
Magda & T.B. Arthur’s freaky acid-disco-electro-house project rubs out a dead classy debut album for Optimo after building a reputation the classic way, via records and gigs, not IG
Two storied veterans of the international club world, M_nus alum Magda and US box beater Jay Ahern (T.B. Arthur, Hauntologists) managed to keep their identities as Blotter Trax under wraps for years, delivering a pair of 12”s and live sets at Fabric, European festivals and a Japanese tour, before they ‘fessed up on a 2019 Frustrated Funk 12”. Following an imposed stay in Berlin due to the pandemic, they return augmented by guitarist Johannes Strobl and vocalist Nina Hynes for a juicily funked-up debut album ’Superconductor’, loosening up and refocussing their sound along a sort of acid-not-acid axis twisted with inspiration from early ‘80s downtown NYC disco and punk-funk, Miami bass, and no shortage of trippy sleaze.
The 11-tracks results of ’Superconductor’ are richly satisfying for freakier dancers and DJs, smartly and persistently switching up styles between the louche swag of ‘Tramp’ and Laurie Anderson-esque acid-pop of ‘Sleeping Through The Day’. They variously swivel from Peaches-like electro-punk on ‘Machine Sky’ to remind of Graham Lewis’ He said on ‘Muscle Relaxer’, coming on ruder with the gloopy electro-funk of ‘Level Control’ and Miami-bassed undertow of ‘Circus in My Head’, and nailing a frisky Berlin feel in ‘Beets’ and the sparse swanger ‘Dictation’, with some good ol’ pure acid on ‘Octopii’.