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Karen Gwyer Rembo Don't Be Afraid


On the club circuit, promoters generally seem to champion DJ sets over live producer performances. Whatever their motives are, London-based US producer Karen Gwyer is staunchly committed to performing live, and she’s been vocal about her desire to adjust the politics surrounding the issue.

An extension of this outlook, Rembo is a byproduct of Gwyer’s live performances. The record is inspired by Gwyer’s work over the course of playing the live circuit, reading her audiences and replicating that emotion in the confines of a studio space. Many of Rembo‘s productions are notably skeletal; like the static foundations of a scaffold structure waiting to be built around. Multiple percussion groupings unfurl with strategic grace. While comparisons to Drexciya may be blatant, the synergy between Gwyer and James Stinson’s sounds are too significant to ignore. The control of dynamics for He’s Been Teaching Me To Drive and The Workers Are On Strike, the lingering melancholy in Why Does Your Father Look So Nervous? and the percussive precision of Did You Hear The Owls Last Night? evoke the most emotive elements of the Deep Sea Dweller series.

Rembo is a record of overt importance for Gwyer. It’s not just a personal album, but one that develops a kinship between her audiences across the globe. The instinctive nature of her music carries with it a weight of affection seldom achieved during a run-of-the-mill DJ set. Instead, Rembo encapsulates the most hedonistic moments of club culture and eradicates the creative divide between both the listener and the producer.