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Album review Scottish albums

Minerva Wakes

(Wikipedia extract)

“Minerva /mɪˈnɜːrvə is the Roman goddess of wisdom and strategic warfare, justice, law, victory, and the sponsor of arts, trade, and strategy.”

See also: Minerva Wakes – the new project of Jo D’Arc, best known for her work with The Twistettes, The Girobabies and her various DJ-ing guises. The outfit comprises Jo and sister Nicky and this 11 track album certainly unleashes some primal forces!

After a spoken word introduction on ‘I’, which charts this particular goddess’s reawakening, the next couple of tracks (‘Come On’, and ‘Tell Me’) are a true electronic techno onslaught of beats and bleeps, with eldritch vocals. It could be summarised as Bjork meeting The Prodigy in Fever Ray’s garage, or something…

This is intense and heavy-duty music, dense enough to lose yourself in. By track 4 ‘Blown Mind’ the BPM slows down and this triphop-esque track just stalks along, giving BM some ’90s flashbacks…

After another spoken word track in ‘II’, we get back into the beats with ‘Selling Skin’ – wow! This has a Leftfield vibe, and some furious percussion – tribal and quite mesmerising…

BM has to say that the production on this record is quite amazing, and the wee touches of electronica and flourishes of detail are highly impressive…

‘Click’ and ‘That Boy’ continue the dark mood – and there are other echoes of triphop, possibly also One Dove and Tricky…

Ninth track in, ‘Redefine’, goes for a beat-driven trance intro, then adds a yearning vocal over the top – lovely… After another spoken word track, ‘III’, which reassures us that Minerva is actually ok and she is not going to kill us all (BM was a bit afraid of that) we get the closing track, ‘Perfect Soul’, which blazes with processed beats, but at a stately pace.

This record, out now, it is a breathtaking and glorious piece of work from one of Scotland’s most original sibling duos.