Nadia Struiwigh WHRRu

Nadia Struiwigh WHRRu
7
Rotterdam producer and DJ Nadia Struiwigh has released her second long-player; WHRRu — short for "Where are you" — follows her lovely 2017 ambient techno disc Lenticular.
 
The new work is bit trickier to categorize. It offers up the same lush downtempo vibe we're used to from Struiwigh, but, perhaps not surprising given Denovali's involvement this time around, WHRRu is more complex. Part of that is simply instrumentation. Struiwigh says she added acoustic instruments this time out to give the album a "past/future concept." She's rummaging through childhood memories over the course of these ten tracks, and as a result, the material is more organic and emotional.
 
"Bizarph" showcases that feel beautifully. Acoustic guitar dominates the mix; it's played sparingly and with the same kind of loop effect that she applies to a lot of her synths. The result is warm and reflective, recalling Cinematic Orchestra.
 
The album is not without grit though. "Yoguah" is a kind of slowed-down, blissed-out hardcore track, "Soundshag" starts out trippy and then layers in a brilliant '70s keyboard line and "Ppda" marries a distorted beat with more retro synth and atmospheric white noise.
 
There's a lot to parse through. Struiwigh delivers more variety this time out, and the change-ups are welcome. What the album lacks in tempo, it makes up for in thoughtful composition and imaginative arrangements. (Denovali)