Beatrice Dillon Workaround
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Beatrice Dillon Workaround PAN

There’s a moment almost three minutes into Square Fifths, a track from Beatrice Dillon’s new album Workaround, where moody two-step transforms, without warning, into a warbled dubstep rhythm that would be right at home on a FWD>> dancefloor. It’s one of the many striking left turns in a loose-limbed experimental debut that finds influence in Afro-Caribbean music as much as it does in UK club sounds.

Finding a home somewhere between the synthetic and organic, Dillon has enlisted the help of a number of collaborators across varying instrumentation: Kuljit Bhamra on the tabla, Kadialy Kouyaté playing the kora, Batu providing samples, and Lucy Railton on cello, to name a few. On Workaround Five and Workaround Six, strings are employed to ominous effect; the typically balmy intonation sounding distorted and foreboding. Tabla rhythms and kora riffs weave warmth through the rigidity of staccato drum machine claps (Workaround Four, Clouds Strum) and synths that could have been plucked from a Barker record retain brightness above rumbling low end (Workaround Seven, Workaround Eight).

Dillon has found inspiration for this record from the late modern dance choreographer Rudolf Laban, as well as the work of abstract artists like Bridget Riley, Tomma Abts and Jorinde Voigt. Just like Dillon, these artists have produced work that is at once formulaic yet unconstrained, psychedelic yet literal. Dillon’s DJ sets are valued for her playful affinity for rhythm and groove – Workaround is a thrilling extension of that dancefloor fascination.