DVA Pretty Ugly

DVAPretty Ugly
London, UK DJ/producer DVA has been on the music scene for some time, most notably as a radio personality on Rinse FM, though latest release Pretty Ugly marks his first go at a full-length. Trying to pin a label on an artist like DVA, or an album such as Pretty Ugly, is a useless endeavour; the Hyperdub resident dabbles in funk, grime, experimental, R&B and soul, a mélange of styles that effortlessly coexist. The album's decidedly upbeat atmosphere dodges any pattern or semblance, freely moving from the warbled stutter, full vocal onslaught of "Just Vybe," with its echoed fades and steady ride cymbal, to a singular synth build that loops hypnotically on following track "Polyphonic Dreams." One drawback to Pretty Ugly, however, is the abundance of full vocals on half the songs, often overshadowing the complexities of the album with unnecessary crooning, with the exception of "Eye Know," featuring Natalie Maddix. The Brainfeeder-esque track, with its stuttered beat, off-time undulations and sultry vocals, is a perfect fit; it also doesn't hurt that Pretty Ugly is dusted in a haze, à la FlyLo. (Hyperdub)