Estonian producer Maria Juur (aka Maria Minerva) is back with her fourth solo album Histrionic on her mainstay label, Not Not Fun. Just like with Minerva’s debut Cabaret Cixous, her near deadpan delivery juxtaposed with the aged synthesizers and drum machines creates something aurally engrossing and slightly nostalgic. Minerva blends elements of 80s/90s house, pop and dark ambience to create something entirely her own. Minerva basically embodies the Not Not Fun aesthetic in totality. The album has zero filler, with each song having an identity of its own – it can hold your attention effortlessly. Some of these tracks can be viewed as a sort of deconstruction. “Endgame,” for example, has Minerva throwing trip-hop straight in to a black hole and “Hingede Öö” is sung in her native Estonian tongue (I believe?) in which she tosses in a layer of juke. As Not Not Fun calls it, it’s “a strange, stimulating surf…” and I couldn’t agree more. Check out the Spotify stream of Histrionic below and see what you think of it. Cheers!

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The Details

Estonian expat Maria Minerva may have found her footing in the cultural battlefield of Brooklyn but her recent music continues to confound easy assimilation, crawling further into the crevices between karaoke fantasy, hall-of-mirrors pop, and meta dancefloor mind-games. Histrionic begins bluntly: “Sometimes beauty and brains are not enough,” before breezing through a bewitching 11-song cycle about ivory towers, underground spirit, galactically challenged romances, predators vs prey, seeing the soul, and the ennui of identity amidst the metropolitan maze: “tables are turned / bridges are burned / you fooled me once / but then you fooled me twice.” Sonically she threads in shades of woozy trap, London bass music, Eastern European cassette kiosks, 90′s diva house, phaser ballads, and ambient rave, sketching a soulful self-portrait of her own inner ecosystem of loves and labors lost. A strange, stimulating surf across the weird brainwaves of one of our favorite artists (and people) at the threshold of an intriguing new pipeline of inspiration. Black vinyl LPs mastered by Dietrich Schoenemann, in constructivist sleeves designed by Antonio Trecel Diaz. Edition of 460.

Price $12

Listen on Spotify

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