Leda - Neuter
The first Leda album proper since 2017 (if you don't count the tapes on KP and Knotwilg), which also makes it the first since World of Echo opened its doors, a fact taken on its own revealing of just how much has happened in Swedish underground music since. Which, in case you didn't know, is A LOT. We obviously know Sofie Herner well for her earlier work as part of Neutral and role in the various manifestations of Enhet For Fri Musik, all of which feels like a road map of sorts that others were to, if not follow, then at least refer to. What she does as Leda feels even more singular. Neuter, a title which must contain a more than coincidental connection to Neutral though what it means exactly is typically opaque (is she calling an end to the past?), consists of nine nameless tracks of skeletal guitar machinations, punctuated by fragments of noise and buried-deep vocal interjections. Primitive is one way of describing it, a trait that feels very much by design rather than accident, a physical re-imagining of no-wave anti-rock credo that doesn't really sound like anything else from Gothenburg right now but is very much testament to its shared spirit of artful creative pursuit. There's little obvious concession to anything other than Herner's own instincts, which certainly echo aspects of Neutral's hexed atonality, suggesting this is her natural voice, an artist tuned into a particularly dissonant frequency. Or to put it another way, one very much on her own wavelength. And for what it's worth, the five-second buzzing guitar loop that track 3 is built from could have been the whole album and i'd have been no less happy, which says more about my problems than the qualities of this fine record.
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