Dan Bodan – Soft
Before a breathily sighed note’s been uttered, Berlin-based Canadian Dan Bodan has set the tone for his debut full-length by titling it Soft, drawing inspiration from Joni Mitchell’s Blue in actively encouraging pre-conception. Where Mitchell sought melancholy, Bodan’s emotional intentions are of a more gooey, loved-up nature, with Soft a series of caramel sweet mediations on matters of the heart portrayed through a prism of digitally-mutated R'n'B cuts.
If last year’s subdued, shuffling single Anonymous placed the producer awkwardly among the rest of DFA’s typically brash roster, then the sickly balladry of For Heaven’s Sake – more Sinatra than Shit Robot – and the over-sugared crescendo of saxophone-smothered Jaws of Live only isolates him further. However, there’s an admiration to be found in the conviction of such wilfully gaudy moments, and at his best – amid Romeo’s spectral trip-hop groove and the gradually welling creak and moan of Rusty – he proves an affecting gift for the genuinely evocative. [Simon Jay Catling]