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Anohni review – avant garde unveiling of a new incarnation | Musique Non Stop

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Thursday, May 19, 2016

Anohni review – avant garde unveiling of a new incarnation

Park Avenue Armory, Red Bull Music Academy New York
The singer has a tough new electronic sound and a lyrical ferocity aimed at the evils of the world – and revealed both in a show unafraid to challenge its audience

Eleven years after bringing an entirely new voice into the world with the award-winning transgender blues of her breakthrough album I am a Bird Now, Anohni has come up with something equally bold and urgent. Her new record Hopelessness is arresting on two fronts. Lyrically it’s a full-on protest album, aggressively taking aim at the ills of the world from Obama and the NSA to drone strikes and climate change. Musically it’s abrasive but accessible electronic pop created with the help of American producer Oneohtrix Point Never and Kanye West collaborator Hudson Mohawke, a world away from the symphonic grandiosity of her most recent records.

Given Anohni’s roots in avant garde performance and her ability to command leading collaborators to realise her vision, the live presentation of the new material is a mouthwatering prospect. Taking place in New York’s cavernous art space the Park Avenue Armory, Hopelessness the show sets out to discomfort the audience from the outset. Ominous electronic sounds buzz and scrape as the crowd files in and eventually Naomi Campbell appears on the giant screen suspended over the stage. As the droning gets louder, she dances in slow motion, weeping, wearing knee-high vinyl boots, a bikini, and a woolly hat with spikes around it that evoke the Statue of Liberty – film taken from the video to Drone Bomb Me.

Related: Anohni: Hopelessness review – the most profound protest record in decades

Related: Anohni, the artist once known as Antony Hegarty, on life beyond the Johnsons

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by Alex Needham via Electronic music | The Guardian