Brooklyn-based Salwa Abd, aka Bergsonist, is one of the more prolific artists we’ve covered, and 2020 has seen her release numerous projects this year with the confidence of a seasoned professional. The latest comes in the form of Womankind’s Beauty, a four-track record that showcases the Morroocan-born artist’s versatility.
The title track of this latest project arrives as a collaboration with Missouri-based vocalist, Tonina. A slower and more trip-hop inclined track than Bergsonist’s usual go-to avant-garde techno, it comes through with an understated spirituality akin to early Massive Attack, or Thievery Corporation’s more mellow works. Here, Tonina’s wordless crooning melds tightly with spacious chords, and fits nicely into the somber, dreamlike atmosphere cultivated by Bergsonist’s production.
The second track, ‘Take It Slo’, marks a tonal shift for the EP, and the atmospheres fade away in favor of a more beat-oriented, percussion-heavy focus that really hits high gear around 2:30 into the track. A massive bass line finally comes fully into the mix, turning this into the kind of tune you would crank the volume up to, while taking a slow cruise through city streets. ‘Global Warning’ continues this heavy focus on percussion, and for large portions the track abandons melody altogether for layers of rattling percussion and earth-shattering sub-basses
Closing out the project, ‘Killed by Aids’ kicks the tempo even higher towards the edges of techno. A disjointed melody persists throughout the majority of the track, which comes across more like an intimate jam session, where one can hear Bergsonist subtle tweaking and adjusting the parameters as the track builds to its cathartic final movement overflowing with 90s rave energy.
Womankind’s Beauty is out now on Bandcamp, with a limited run on vinyl, so be sure to grab a copy before it’s too late.
Check out our interview with Bergsonist as part of our Noise 101 series here.