Lida Husik

Faith in Space

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As always with Lida Husik, the title of this album seems accompanied by a slight tongue in cheek wink to her electronic-obsessed peers, but it also happens to be entirely appropriate. The main difference between Faith in Space and many of the artists who make their music on machines is three-fold: one, Husik plays various instruments on each song; two, they are actual songs, with structure, melody, and all the attendant organizational trappings; and, three, they sound entirely organic. Husik has triangulated the spaciest elements from Fly Stereophonic, amplified them, added some additional electronic elements and stretched them into songs that approach or exceed five minutes, all without losing her natural frothy vitality. The album moves from the funky "Dissolve" to the sputtering drum'n'bass of "Blood and Water" without losing either its focus or its inherent coziness, although the music does seem a bit more cold, a bit more chilly than her previous effort. Husik, for the most part, sheds any hint of cutesiness from her musical persona, replacing it with a cloudy detachment that, nevertheless, is inviting and avoids techno-insularity. Her somnolent vocals instead tuck under the covers of the music like a warm, drowsy body in a chill night. Some songs are propelled by bleeping house beats courtesy of old buddy and producer Beaumont Hannant. His touch is deft, keeping the programming simple and tidy so as not to upend the songs. Many of the beats are so muted they seem almost telepathic, though that doesn't mean the music never heats up: one listen to "Bodies a Model" is likely to induce itchy feet for those inclined. More often than not, Husik and Hannant fall into a groove -- be it disco-fried, Saturday-afternoon, quasi-funk ("Dissolve") or minimalistic call and response techno ("Angels on the Floor") -- and sustain it, spawning some trippy drones in the process, as well as the occasional hallucinative lullaby awash in mind-expanding ambience ("Waterfall," "The Planet's One," "Ice It"). Perhaps the reason Husik pulls off the transition to electronic music so well is because she is no stranger to it, having first established the aesthetic on releases such as Sculptured and Husikesque. Faith in Space injects a bit of sexual energy out into space.

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