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Last year Swedish electropop duo The Knife released Shaking the Habitutal, a dissonant but strangely compelling record influenced by radical feminism. Now their Berlin-based collaborator Planningtorock, aka Jam Rostron, follows suit with All Love’s Legal, which sets out its stall with songs titled like placards at a 1970s demo – “Patriarchy Over & Out”, “Let’s Talk About Gender Baby” – although the atmosphere of patchouli oil and lentils evaporates when the music starts.
Opening with an electronically distorted Rostron chanting, “Fall in love with whoever you want,” in hypnagogic echo of smooth 1980s pop, it ranges from the electro-torch grandeur of “Human Drama” to abrasive dance-floor polemics such as “Misogyny Drop Dead”, in which synths shriek in satiric imitation of John Knox’s “monstrous regiment of women”.
Rostron’s computer-treated voice oscillates between high and low tones, a gender-disorienting effect that elides twin traditions of Rostron’s adopted city, cabaret theatricality and electronic music.
All Love’s Legal
(Human Level Records)