Last year’s Ruin 1 EP was a sound collage of ’90s dance beats raving against pop melodies (with “Omamori” the standout exception), while Ruin 2 presented those same tracks as a murky, muddier mirror image. After the departure of Josh Clancy from the duo, James Brooks moved from Minneapolis to New York City, a town famous for its infinitesimally tiny apartments. Perhaps such economy accounts for Brooks’ shift from the Hoarders-like packed productions of Ruin to the less densely layered approach heard on “Andreja 4-Ever.”
“when i did andreja i sort of realized that i was on a different path than i had been before and even though it was scary to realize that i had done and probably would continue to do things that might alienate people who liked the things i had done previously i had to follow my heart because that’s the only way i can do anything
Released through the 2012 Adult Swim Singles Program, “Andreja 4-Ever” has a title inspired by the 2002 Swedish sex-trafficking drama Lilya 4-ever and is about the late radical feminist Andrea Dworkin. Heavy source material, but what’s come out of Brooks’ bedroom is a sweetly wistful tune — how about that harmonica? — set to a jeep beat. (His love for ’90s beats lives.)
Brooks, who recently remixed Sky Ferreira’s “Red Lips,” is working on a new Elite Gymnastics album due next year, tentatively titled For Life.
“I’m trying to rebuild my own canon where Joy Division or Radiohead doesn’t matter but Tori Amos or Sarah McLachlan or the Spice Girls or George Michael or Des’ree or the Romeo + Juliet soundtrack do matter,” he told Pitchfork. It’s aggressively more feminine than the Ruin stuff.”
And that fantastic assortment of inspiration is why I can’t wait to hear what Brooks makes room for next.
Free download of Elite Gymnastics – “Andreja 4-Ever” via Adult Swim.