Blank Project may be Cherry's first "solo" album in 17 years, but she never stopped making music, and she clearly has a knack for finding the right people to work with. The album was produced by Kieran Hebden, and is fundamentally a collaboration with Ben and Tom Page, AKA RocketNumberNine. Purveyors of an often manic melange of afrojazz, post-rock and techno, the Page brothers prove the perfect foil for Cherry, as they switch between the stripped-back beat poetry of opener "Across The Water" and the title track's aggro soundclash of trashed drums and awesome bass.
Blank Project was recorded in just five days, in a (pretty successful) bid to retain its raw immediacy. Its best tracks are toweringly good. On "Spit Three Times," restrained and brooding pads are a sensitive fit for Cherry's tales of love as a dangerous mania. The closer "Everything" is a delirious take on elegiac, Zomby-ish bass music. The album's key track, "Weightless," trumps both. Propelled by a heavy, distorted bassline and a clanging cowbell, and later pivoting around a tense, bleeping breakdown (Cherry's cantering vocal is almost a rhythm track in its own right), it evokes both the muscular punk-funk of Spektrum and Cherry's one-time mentors, The Slits. Lyrically, this may be the work of a 49 year-old woman, with its ruminations on family, married life and paying the bills, but, in terms of its energy and sheer lust for life, it could not sound fresher.