Geoff Barrow of Portishead / Beak> produced Berlin/ Bristol/ London based artist Anika's self-title debut LP released at the end of last month on Stones Throw Records. The resulting collaboration is an raw, unsettling journey into a trippy world of early 80's post-punk, dub and 60's girl pop. Yet quite bizarrely this unique mash-up creates an overall cohesive sound and intense experience.
The opening, a dark, synthesised version of 60's girl group Twinkle's track "Terry" sets the tone perfectly, it's disconcerting, menacing and yet manages to retain the sound of a dubbed down pop song. The lyrics fit the overriding tone perfectly. "He rode into the night // accelerated his motorbike // I cried to him in fright // don't do it, don't do it, don't do it."
The Skeeter Davis classic "End of the World" has well and truly become the soundtrack of a post-apocalyptic dystopian future, this followed by sirens and a stuttering funk-lade bass in Yoko Ono' cover "Yang Yang" which make it sound like something lifted directly from 'Kill Bill'.
"Masters of War" (Bob Dylan) has the feeling of 'Unknown Pleasures' off-cut, a vague deeply threatening ambience with Anika's vocals sung with a nonchalant and unconcerned voice which makes it all the more sinister and creates a colossal sense of paranoia with a pulsating electronic throb overriding throughout.
'Anika' doesn't sounds like it was released in 2010, it's got all the hallmarks of an unearthed classic from the early 80's post-punk era, the original compositions especially the reggae infused "No One's There" stand side by side with some fantastically selected choice of classics, you'll never hear a Ray Davies song sound so haunting ever again. Highly recommended if you like your music dark, sinister and damn right unsettling.
8.6 / 10
Listen / Download "Yang Yang" below
Anika - Yang Yang