Thor Rixon is not an artist who simply releases albums lightly, his process is layered and steeped in aesthetic symbolism both lyrically and visually.
“Michele” – lovingly dedicated to his mother, who urged him to explore the grooving intricacies of dance music – is peppered with smart collaborations and is deftly stitched together with multi-textured poise.
Thematically, it finds its niche between environmental degradation and empowerment, the former of which is broadly explored in the eerie, percussive leanings of opener ‘Our End’. The accompanying video paints humanity’s thoughtless abjection of the planet with striking and sinister appeal present in lyrics: “We’ve overstayed our welcome/We’ve eaten all the food again.”
Deft, organic experimentalism rules supreme throughout “Michele”. The spacey, light psych influences of ‘Old Strandfontein Road’ are generously seasoned with organic textures and an avant-garde approach, countered by the silvery flow of Roxy Caroline’s (Hyroine) vocals in ‘He Held Him Close’.
‘Build Again’ manifests as a defined dance track, countered by Duduza Mchunu’s low, soothing timbre, while ‘Soil’ is a patchwork of expertly-balanced sonic drive that reinforces the environmental themes laid down in ‘Our End’.
And as Mx Blouse’s feature lends an easy flow to the bouncy club-rooted ‘Khahlela’, The Clown’ wraps things up with a darker, progressive tendency as Rixon effortlessly pushes his own sonic envelope without ever missing a beat.
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Listen to the album on Apple Music.