12 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

The London-based electro-pop trio Ultraista is Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich, A-list session drummer Joey Waronker, and Laura Bettinson, former singer of Le Femme and Dimbleby & Capper. Each member brings something of equal value to the formula, but it's Godrich’s Midas touch that has already garnered Ultraista many a Radiohead comparison. The intro tune “Bad Insect” perfectly balances rhythms that sound both organic and mechanical. Over this rhythmic collage, Bettinson sings alongside buzzing synthesizer drones, analog ambient tones, and shimmering background noises. In the Portishead-esque “Gold Dayzz,” she takes a demure approach not unlike Stereolab’s Lætitia Sadier or Broadcast's late, great Trish Keenan, while “Static Light” finds her inflecting with the cosmopolitan cool of a young Alison Goldfrapp. Bettinson’s stacked vocal rounds in the fetching “Smalltalk” are ingeniously layered in the verses to provide both the melody and a rhythmic counterpart to the pedaling beats. “You’re Out” closes with a hypnotic mantra of loops.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The London-based electro-pop trio Ultraista is Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich, A-list session drummer Joey Waronker, and Laura Bettinson, former singer of Le Femme and Dimbleby & Capper. Each member brings something of equal value to the formula, but it's Godrich’s Midas touch that has already garnered Ultraista many a Radiohead comparison. The intro tune “Bad Insect” perfectly balances rhythms that sound both organic and mechanical. Over this rhythmic collage, Bettinson sings alongside buzzing synthesizer drones, analog ambient tones, and shimmering background noises. In the Portishead-esque “Gold Dayzz,” she takes a demure approach not unlike Stereolab’s Lætitia Sadier or Broadcast's late, great Trish Keenan, while “Static Light” finds her inflecting with the cosmopolitan cool of a young Alison Goldfrapp. Bettinson’s stacked vocal rounds in the fetching “Smalltalk” are ingeniously layered in the verses to provide both the melody and a rhythmic counterpart to the pedaling beats. “You’re Out” closes with a hypnotic mantra of loops.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5

39 Ratings

Very Good But Fairly Predictable

1dionysus,

For me, it's 3.5 *'s. They have a wonderful sound under uber-producer Nigel Godrich, but the song progressions are not so adventurous. Every song has a similar start, a drum or percussion loop, and builds using familiar progressions and techniques. If you only consider what the album is, then it's a wonderful sound. However, I expect more from the famous Radiohead producer. This is kind of auto-pilot for him. The production values are obviously top-shelf, but is that enough? I think we're in a time now where most listeners of electronic music want more aural challenges in terms of sound, progression, and technique. Had Four-Tet or Matthew Dear co-produced the entire album, I think this would have been a little more adventurous considering their wonderful remixes.

Anything touched by Nigel Godrich is good enough for me.

helly1080,

I think is sounding really great. Nigel Godrich of Radiohead producing fame is behind this sweet little new group. I think it has got his sound in it for sure. I love it already.

About Ultraísta

The electro-pop project of superstar producer Nigel Godrich, multi-instrumentalist Joey Waronker, and vocalist Laura Bettinson, Ultraista take their name from the early-20th century Spanish literary movement ultraísmo. Before connecting with Waronker and Godrich, Bettinson performed and recorded as Dimbleby & Capper, and arose from the same London-based group of musicians that produced Micachu & the Shapes and the Invisible. The trio's debut song, "smalltalk," arrived in May 2012 to much online buzz. ~ Heather Phares

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