The music of Torres is simultaneously like that of other bands and wholly unique. It is strangely tactile music, music where the electronic textures seem like things that could be touched, not just heard. The newest record from Torres is called Three Futures and it's out on Friday via 4AD and it's a strange beast, but one that demands the attention of listeners everywhere.
Produced by Rob Ellis and mixed by David Tolomei, Three Futures sounds absolutely fantastic. And if some credit is thrown the way of those guys, the rest -- the lion's share, obviously -- must go to Mackenzie Scott AKA Torres, the guiding force behind this sonic journey. The sinister and wonderfully-titled "Tongue Slap Your Brains Out" opens the album and it's all slo-mo vibes, dance music stretched out until it resembles something from another world, or a dream. Elsewhere, the superb "Righteous Woman" channels Kate Bush in a Buck Rogers century, the old mixing with the new to become a tune that is timeless in its directness and futuristic in its delivery. The weird pop of "Bad Baby Pie" suggests an update of the Eurythmics template for a more severe future, while the lovely-and-percolating "Marble Focus" recalls some mid-period Peter Gabriel stuff, where percussion was fully subsumed in the entire presentation. Torres has a remarkable knack for making this all feel largely natural. In other hands, lots of this might end up ponderous or obvious, but there's something easy here, something utterly unforced that renders the offerings of Torres Art of the best kind.
Pretentious in the right ways, and in the (right) small degree, Three Futures is an updating of earlier styles from earlier pioneers (Laurie Anderson, Eno, Kraftwerk), while also a fairly convincing argument that, in 2017, electronic music is capable of being some of the most human music one is likely to encounter. Warm and yet austere, stark and yet lush, Three Futures is largely sublime and compelling. As always, Torres remains an artist to follow with rapt attention.
[Photo: Ashley Connor]