Saturday 4 July 2020
Unpredictable music making your head spin

Can you categorise the uncategorisable? Try on Anna Meredith for size.

Her sound has frequently been described as genre-defying, and it straddles the different worlds of contemporary classical, art-pop, electronica, ambient and experimental rock.

This could be the soundtrack for walking through a huge games arcade with forever changing, jumbling sounds coming at you from all directions. You feel lifted, intrigued and spurred on to hear what will happen next.

Anna Meredith already had a successful career as an experimental classical composer before releasing her own music. She has written songs and symphonies, exploring everything from boomwhackers to beatboxing and body percussion. Before she released her proper debut solo album, she was made an MBE.

In 2016, when she released Varmints, it was to widespread acclaim (just look here). Her synth-heavy confections were all over the place, unpredictably so. The only thing you could take for granted was the constant sonic left turns.

The Scotman’s second album, FIBS, followed up on the sonic adventurism – with rollercoastering instrumentals in a flurry of rave synths and bright vocal-centric tracks. In the words of The Quietus, it “evokes PC Music as much as it does Krzysztof Penderecki, bombastic Bandcamp compilations of grassroots electro to Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony.”

Anna Meredith makes a perfect live adaptation of her music. Together with a five-piece band – made up of a guitar, drums, tuba, cello and Meredith herself on keys, clarinet, vocals and much more – she plays music like bewildering wonders. Her Roskilde concert will be the first on Danish soil.