Perera Elsewhere Thrill Friends of Friends
For her solo project Perera Elsewhere, Berlin experimentalist Sasha Perera captures a dark intimacy. Her glitchy trip-hop and freak-folk tracks often feel cold yet exploratory, like they’re peeling back layers of the human condition with a sterile scalpel and a rigid hand.
On her new Thrill EP, the first project since her 2017 full-length All of This, Perera exudes more of this off-kilter seductive energy. Her voice slinks in like a snake on opening track Yeah Yeah, and it’s immediately transfixing, as if she’s casting a spell through her undulating melodies in order to lure the listener into her eerie soundscape. She’s proved before that she has a penchant for crafting hypnotic pop tunes that turn into something sinister and strange – this is, after all, the same musician who interpolated 50 Cent’s Candy Shop and made it come across like a Portishead song. But never has she done it with such slyness and subtlety in its execution.
Thrill also sees Perera bordering on the destructive and ominous on Sunk in Motion, enlisting producer Dis Fig, whose dance music mirrors the cathartic violence of industrial music. As Perera chants in hip-hop rhythms, Dis Fig’s beat obscures her with glitchy noise and doom-and-gloom synths, like it’s lurching towards a certain apocalyptic end. But Perera also inhibits the antithetical form on Wait N See, a gorgeous and sombre space ballad on which she seems to be yearning to be more self-sufficient and strong. By pushing her moods and sounds to opposite extremes on Thrill, Perera only further intrigues.