Itoa: Oh No EP Album Evaluate

In between hyperpop’s entry into the mainstream, Gen Z’s embrace of drum’n’bass, and the worldwide achievement of regional genres like footwork and singeli, warp-speed electronic tunes is in all places, primary the demand as popular songs, broadly speaking, picks up the pace. In his perform as Itoa, the British producer Alex Godoy has staked his declare in dance music’s speedy lane, frequently clocking 160-as well as BPMs with no at any time stalling out on uncomplicated genre imitation. His music attracts deeply and liberally from immediate-hearth strains of home and techno—classic acid, footwork, bassline, and jungle—which he manipulates into wildly danceable assemblages. At its ideal, an Itoa song is packed with intricately transferring sections that, taken altogether, coalesce into a audio that is rubbery and relentless. On his most current EP, Oh No, Godoy provides some of his most kinetic, funky, and oddly stunning work to date, refining his sound when also unlocking promising new competencies.

Opener “Wet Brain” kicks points off on a a little bit nervous take note, building from a timid hi-hat and woodblock rattle right before escalating into a footwork-fueled trance banger, total with chirping synths and choppy vocal science. What’s most amazing is how seamlessly Godoy segues from pounding dance tunes into unexpected pockets of beatless ambience and back again all over again. His expertise for wrongfooting the listener with each natural beauty and brutality extends to “Girlboss Microplastix,” which lurches ahead with a broken drum split just before the ground falls out and lands in a pocket of ominous calm, a respite right before the violence of the drums resumes with a vengeance.

Godoy’s shade palette brightens noticeably toward the center of the EP, at which level things get wildly enjoyable. The title track, a collaboration with Japanese performer なかむらみなみ (Nakamura Minami), pits her staccato, shit-chatting move from an alternately throbbing and squelchy bassline that would not be out of place on a SOPHIE file. In contrast to other vocalists who execute about footwork—like Jessy Lanza, who floats dreamily higher than the blend, or DJ Taye, who races at gentle pace from the clock—the rapper’s hop-scotching vocals fasten completely into the beat’s pocket, her every syllable making out the song’s kinetic rhythm and unlocking the latent mischief and swagger of Itoa’s creation.

But the euphoric highpoint is the substantial “Catch Eyes,” which weaves a grinding TB-303 bassline into a rapid-stepping syncopated rhythm then, just as everything’s jogging effortlessly, Godoy detonates the song’s groove with an explosion of racing pinwheel synths and babbling, fragmented vocals. For an artist so competent at manufacturing utilitarian, flooring-filling dance music, Godoy plainly delights in proving just how far he can tilt a observe off its axis without having at any time losing the move.