Album: Dead Air, Dead Air (Reveal)

Andy Gill
Sunday 23 October 2011 08:07
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Dead Air is the nom de disque of Rainy Orteca, the guitarist whose stints with the likes of Lou Reed, Joan Osborne and Antony & The Johnsons led to her current position as Joan Wasser's right-hand gal in Joan As Policewoman.

Her own debut mini-album is a solo affair, showcasing Orteca's abilities with beats, bass, synths and guitars, which she blends in ways ranging from folksy ease to fizzy electro-pop. The weakest element is probably her voice, whose shortcomings she circumvents by delivering her beatnik ruminations and emotional analyses in a laconic bohemian murmur. The results are diversely intriguing: led by resonant bass, "Elephant Decision" is Dead Air's equivalent of "Walk on the Wild Side", while the retro-futurist mode of "Electrical Heart" resembles early Human League fronted by Patti Smith. And despite the occasional pseudo proclivity ("Ingmar Bergman and Madonna should have been at Monterey Pop"), her lyrics generally deserve better delivery than she can muster, littered as they are with striking observations and barbed couplets like "It used to be so good/ Now, I've got a gun".

Pick of the Album: 'Elephant Decision', 'Electrical Heart', 'A.L.O.N.E.'

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