Portishead, James Blake, FKA Twigs, Jessie Ware
" The woozy, bubblegum yin to James Blake’s yang "
Parallels is an apt name for Austrian duo Mynth’s second album. For as well as being twins, there are plenty of yin-yang dichotomies to Giovanna and Mario Fartacek’s music; optimism and melancholy, the dark and the bright, the digital and the analogue. Their woozy, stuttering beats are overlain with poppy, airy melodies and vocals, letting a little more colour into their musical world than on previous effort Plaat ||. And, despite living in different cities, the twins concoct a heady, mesmerizing mix of electronica and dance music that’s both intimate yet expansive.
There’s a crystalline jumble of motifs at play here, but always used judiciously; nothing is allowed to overpower the song, or Giovanna’s piercing vocals. Trip hop is an obvious touchstone, but so is futuristic R&B and late-night downtempo dubstep. Most impressive of all is their range; from the cold, slick sheen of robo-pop to richer, more sumptuous textures, they causally switch modes as easily as a guitarist changes chord. That all this appears so effortless is testament to their production skills, but also the cohesion with which they build tracks; they sound like a proper band as opposed to studio whizz kids, a warm, human touch shining through in their work.
“I always like to lock you in my dreams”, Giovanna sings on ‘Smog’, a seductive slowjam painted in bubblegum colours. They may have been focused on their home country and the German market so far, but it won’t be long before Europe – and beyond – become equally enraptured with this delightful duo.