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DVA [Hi:Emotions] (aka DVA): NOTU_URONLINEU [Digipak]

Track List

>ALMOSTU - (featuring Rae Rae/Roses Gabor)
>NOTU_URONLINEU - (featuring Danalogue)

Album Notes

Typically known for brash grime bangers, sunny U.K. funky tracks, or future soul vibe-outs, London producer DVA enters bold new territory with the excellent NOTU_URONLINEU, his first release billed as DVA [Hi:Emotions]. The album's concept involves a global corporation called Hi:Emotions that connects (and controls) society through its eponymous product, a virtual reality headset. Brief jingles and advertisements for Hi:Emotions are peppered throughout the album -- a chirpy voice claims that the product will convey emotions through texts and emails, eliminating problems caused by miscommunication. The corporate motto is "One Brand, One Life." The music is tense, paranoid, and fractured, scrambling elements of styles DVA has previously worked with and transforming them into something else entirely. There are grimy bass tones and nervously twitching rhythms, as well as unexpected noises darting out, squirming around, and reversing at will. The album's most riveting moments are the ones where human emotions triumph over the technological chaos, and voices or melodies unexpectedly ring out from the dark. "ALMOSTU" is a Kelela-like R&B song about feeling disillusioned with a relationship. The album's epic title track is dotted with samples from a breakup conversation. Midway through the eight minutes of fidgety, pitch-shifted rhythms, an exquisite, jazzy keyboard solo comes out of nowhere, along with alluring wordless vocals. In between the two tracks is the aptly titled "DAFUQ," a restless burst of triumphant horns and bass wobbles. The entire album is a startling, exciting future-shock that resonates in an era when dystopian sci-fi seem increasingly less fictional, and it's easily DVA's best work yet. ~ Paul Simpson


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