Popnoname - London, Paris, New York
The three tracks on Popnoname’s latest 12” are as diverse as the triumvirate of fashion-driven cities of the title. The A-side is the vocal driven anthem ‘No Doubt’ that not only serves as the epic opening track to Popnoname’s live sets, but also falls into three parts itself. The opening third is pensive and underpinned with a longing house beat that slowly climbs and intensifies over the vocals to become an urgent and forward rushing phased techno riff. This central stretch harks closely to the style of Popnoname’s ‘Pop Ambient’ contributions on Kompakt, only more club friendly. The last third begins with a Jorg Burger-like bassline that drives the track home on a long, smooth road. They don’t call Popnoname’s Jens Uwe Beyer ‘the Jack Kerouac of Cologne techno’ for nothing. Definitely one to put you in the mood. ‘Pearl’, the up-front opening track on side two is more patient and yet less subtle. The beat is stronger and enduring, not waiting nor seemingly bothered that the rest of the track is sparser and needs the time to catch up. The introduction of the outboard bass slowly heats the melody to a heavy, warm synth wash and from there, there’s no turning back.. ‘Jaasminstrauch’ concludes the EP and is the most enigmatic of the three tracks. Slow, fluttering beats fade in and out as chimes and melodies hover, alert and progressively insistent. The climax is a lot more intense than seems possible at first. The percussive patterns thicken and link with the growing ambient weight just as it breaks free from beneath. A beguiling finish to an intelligent EP that creates a sense of promise for Popnoname’s debut album due later this year, also on Italic.