Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Bodyrox featuring Luciana. Yeah Yeah (2006).

Neither the duo Bodyrox nor musician/actor/artist Luciana Caporaso have an album out yet, and they have only collaborated on two singles, but the outcome has been startling.

Yeah Yeah consists only of a few tightly detailed elements: a single synthesizer line which functions as the bass, hook, and harmonic content, with a little vocorder fill, and a drum track that pounds out simple quarter notes. The synth line is a tricky, off-center riff comprised of mostly dotted eighths and some quarter notes, and it's as taut and steely as a cable on a suspension bridge. At the heart of it all is an extraordinary vocal performance by Luciana. At first listen, her vocal seems like a tossed-off, mindless string of cliches. A closer listen reveals how the nimble flawlessness of her vocal line fits as an exquisitely independent counterpoint to that oddly subdivided synth part. Luciana's artistry is evident in how she was able to integrate a strongly grounded part into an existing grid which is continually challenging the natural feeling of the downbeat. The subtle offset of syncopation hints at a mix of 3 against 4, but with a pop/house swing. Luciana's warm and sensual sprechstimme is the beating heart in this music box of chrome and glass. At first impression, her performance appears to be elastic and free, but underneath there is a skilled and conscious composer in complete control.