Perera Elsewhere – ‘All Of This’

On her new record ‘All Of This,’ Sasha Perera aka Perera Elsewhere leaves out most of the acoustic guitar / electronic beats mixture that made her previous effort so remarkable. Instead, she focuses on the latter, allowing herself to move toward an other elsewhere. Thankfully, she is still nowhere near close to being in a common place.

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By her own testimony, she hasn’t always been that confident with her beat making, as lead singer of abstract dub band Jahcoozy. It seems that the success of her debut album ‘Everlast’ proved her wrong, making her comfortable enough to dive deeper in this new direction, which reaches a peak with instrumental ventures ‘Girl From Monotronica’ and ‘Runaway’; this one being maybe the dubbiest tune on the record, taking the listener back to their first THC-infused listens of Burning Spear in their college bedroom.

The two singles strike by the unusual pace of Perera‘s singing, breaking with the idle, almost lascivious breath so representative of her style as a vocalist. They both convey a feeling of urgency, of restrained energy about to break out, if only they were paid enough attention ‘Can you hear the canned laughter?’ The music videos that accompany the songs are worth watching too, working as a two-part short film mixing a mandatory visual psychedelism and a hilarious monster with transgenic apples and a purple-clothed teenage gang. If the music is a little more poppy, the artistic universe is weird as ever, echoing the first-album song ‘Bizarre’ or evoking some Yórgos Lánthimos footage.

Despite a marked sound move from her previous album, Perera Elsewhere‘s ‘All Of This’ is still nowhere near close to being in a common place.

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‘Big Heart,’ ‘All Of This’ and ‘Shoes’ all share the same dynamics, showing Perera Elsewhere‘s interest in a more futuristic, metallic sound reminiscent of Berlin more than the exotic hotchpotch of sounds present on her first record. ‘Tomorrow South,’ featuring Rudoh & Friedhi, and ‘Karam,’ a shadowy alliterative take on 50 Cent‘s ‘Candy Shop’ revel in two different kind of acid trip, either hinting at a club bravado or a sweet and solitary abandonment.

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It is only with ‘Weary’ and ‘The Other Side’ that the beat making vocalist returns to the folkish arrangements that underscored the elegant abnormality that made her so alluring as a solo artist. As glad as I am to see Perera Elsewhere experimenting in the realm of electro ambient ragga, I am all the more impatient to see her getting back to the unique sound she is able to provide with an acoustic guitar. But of course, she can’t be everywhere…

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