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Lee Gamble - Models LP

Lee Gamble - Models LP

Hyperdub

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We've all experienced earworms - those phrases or riffs that spiral through your head for an eternity, materializing when you least expect it. On 'Models', Brummie producer Lee Gamble lets these sonic spectres inform a suite of illusory anthems, subliming vulnerable, half-remembered fragments of dream pop, Soundcloud rap and trance in the process. Sung by cybernetic voices in an almost wordless language, his widescreen memories reverberate across the last few decades of pop history, smudging Elizabeth Frazer's surreal poetry into disembodied diva cries and Lil Uzi Vert's abstract, AutoTuned mumbles.

Like a premonition of a hyperpop-trip-hop fusion that hasn't happened yet, Models is saccharine and melancholy at once. And just as Tricky perfectly represented the mid-'90s by costuming vintage soul and rap with his visionary outfits, Gamble fits out his sonic mannequins in the drapery of the algorithmic age: DAW-fried vocal artifacts, mannered, hyperreal instrumentation and cavernous digital reverb. The meaning we attach to pop is often our own. Sometimes the words are right there - "so close to me," we can make out through the dust - before they're split into fractal shapes and devolved into gibberish. It's pop music, but it ain't background music.