In Hear This, A.V. Club writers sing the praises of songs they know well—some inspired by a weekly theme and some not, but always songs worth hearing.
In as overstuffed a year as 2013 has been for new releases, particularly from returning artists, it’s easy to overlook an EP like Pazes’ Sleeping Dolls. Brazilian producer Lucas Febraro began popping up on blogs and compilations with the smoky, J. Dilla-derived beats and folk guitar loops of 2011’s The Southpaw EP—a sound that represented both his inherited and adopted cultural lineage, but for all its culture clashing, didn’t make much of an impression beyond being vaguely pleasant. Febraro’s new EP, out on the small Kompakt imprint Time No Place, debuted equally unassumingly back in June, trumpeted only by Pazes’ association with the Red Bull Music Academy, and all the taurine-stained prestige that conveys.
But Sleeping Dolls—and in particular its central track, “Frozen”—deserves honorary mention. It’s a collaboration between Febraro and his fellow RBMA alum, Istanbul-based singer Biblo, that finds the nexus point between Turkey and Brazil in a dimly lit Manchester warehouse. Over Febraro’s churning, helicopter dub beats and yawing, off-kilter synth swells, Biblo layers a dreamy, Julee Cruise-like vocal that dissipates almost immediately on impact. (Listening to it is like following a pretty girl through a crowded nightclub, only to discover she’s possibly a drug-induced hallucination.) That two artists from such opposite sides of the world can collaborate on something that would slot nicely next to Andy Stott—or Rainer Veil, or anything on Tri Angle Records—only confirms how excitingly universal the language of electronic music has become, and what a rich year it’s been for it.