Zoë Mc Pherson // Pitch Blender

A true rhythm provocateur finds space for harmony amidst the chaos on their latest album.

Carving out a distinctive space all of their own, Zoë Mc Pherson has spent the past five years laying out vivid drum mantras where the rhythms fall at wild angles and there’s a soundsystem focus to the mix. States Of Fugue saw them particularly pushing into experimental territory, but on new LP Pitch Blender it feels like some of that contrariness in their creative approach has been tempered to allow other ideas into the mix. 

In particular, there’s more space afforded for alien melodic forms, especially on album centrepiece ‘Lamella’ which deals in a giddy wash of pearlescent synth and some pop-adjacent vocals from Mc Pherson themselves. The lyrics follow a thread which starts with prior ambient piece ‘Unidentified Objects’, examining human civilisation from an imagined future and whatever trash we leave behind. As angular, abrasive neo-rave opener ‘On Fire’ attests, it’s not always the gentlest of subjects, but Mc Pherson approaches it with sensitivity and isn’t afraid to weave hope in amongst the more oppressive traits of their production. 

Shot through with snatches of jungle and boldly embracing some genuinely catchy hooks (see standout track ‘Potentials’), Mc Pherson has rounded out their developing artistic identity while still pushing into unknown territory, very much the singular artist pursuing their own aims and making something very special in the process.