Rina Mushonga – In A Galaxy - 2019 Indie Synth Pop - Pink Vinyl LP
Rina Mushonga – In A Galaxy
[pias] – PIASNL0424LP
Vinyl, LP, Album, Limited Edition, Stereo, Pink Translucent Vinyl
15 Feb 2019
A1 Pipe Dreamz
A2 Good Vacation
A3 For A Fool
A4 In A Galaxy
B4 Hey Coach
B5 i miss u so much
Licensed To – [PIAS] Recordings
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Rina Mushonga
Copyright (c) – Rina Mushonga
( Pitchfork) "In a Galaxy is richly embroidered: Warm horns, plucked guitars, and sparkling arpeggios are threaded through the album like jewels adorning an imperial robe. But these luxe soundscapes aren’t excessively opulent—one of In a Galaxy’s virtues is that the colossal scope of its arrangements is tempered by the intimate subject matter. Were Mushonga to chase topics as giant as her melodies, her songs might sag under all the weight. Instead, the telescopic range of the instrumentation is countered by her microscopic observations of daily life, making her music both poignant and tangible. As James Joyce put it, “In the particular is contained the universal.”
Mushonga best achieves the balance between vast sounds and common problems on the oozing slow jam “Good Vacation.” Here she depicts a crumbling relationship with concise language. “Let’s go back there,” Mushonga pleads, her voice simultaneously robust and fragile; “We’ve been to Mazan but we could go again.” Synthesizer slinks around the verses like an eel stalking tropical waters. With a few well-placed words, Mushonga sketches out a couple that forfeits the pleasures of daily life for the promise of a holiday. “We don’t sleep at the right time/We don’t drink and dance at the right time,” Mushonga laments. “’Cause we hold out for a good vacation.” Her words, detailing a romance that has become as routine as the 9–5 grind, land like a punch in the gut.
While Mushonga found inspiration for the album in the street noise of Peckham—traffic, kids returning from school, snatches of conversation—it’s fair to say that her eclectic new sound is due in part to producer Brett Shaw, who’s worked with pop titans like Florence and the Machine and Lady Gaga. But Shaw’s gilded touch doesn’t outshine Mushonga’s personality or press her into a Top 40 mold. In fact, her music borrows more from the 1980s—particularly Peter Gabriel, Kate Bush, and Phil Collins—than from contemporary music. Songs like “For a Fool” and “AtalantA” are particularly rooted in that era; the former unfolds like the train scene in Risky Business, complete with smears of saxophone and syncopated keys. “AtalantA” has the makings of an arena anthem, creeping in with rubbery bass before bursting into a battle cry buoyed by shrill organ and layers of thunderous percussion.
The title track is a testament to the album’s diversity and overall disregard for the confines of genre. Mushonga glides effortlessly between synth pop and dubstep, interlacing flute samples and vocoder flourishes without gilding the lily. Here, the intricate details embellishing her music do more to enrich the whole than draw attention to themselves, just as individual stars complete a constellation. A similar effect arises from the very short list of players credited on In a Galaxy (Mushonga, Shaw, and few others). Despite its minimal lineup, the record feels like it was forged by a community of collaborators, each contribution representative of a much larger whole. But it could just be that the staggering reach of Mushonga’s music summons multitudes."