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Julia van der Piller

Julia van der Piller

Aliases: Charmant Juliette

In Groups: Paranoid Definition, Undercore X 

A punch in the face can hurt. But it is mostly far more subtle gestures and precisely-placed words that leave the most painful scars. Perhaps that is why the music of Julia van der Piller has remained so astoundingly resilient and potent in a genre otherwise mostly dominated by machismo. For just a little more than two years, van der Piller has turned the mechanisms of breakcore inside out, adding layers of alluring sensuality and contiguous melodic spikes to monotonously pumping basslines and skeletised percussion patterns. Rather than taking her music to levels of bewildering complexity and cyber-virtuosity, she has returned it to its primal function of expressing emotion and serving as a pressure valve for unresolved inner tension. Accordingly, despite its bleak, nocturnal and depressive outlook, her tracks are running at a considerably slower, almost dream-like pace, like a blind man feeling his way through a maze made of concrete – pieces like "Hammer for your Head" represent a delirious, urban pendant to dub rather than a testosterone-fueled attempt at redefining the borders of the listenable.

And yet, for van der Piller, discovering this more refined and lyrical side to her creative personality has been an intimate journey as well. After almost inadvertently stumbling onto the netlabel-scene in 2009, she followed up her harsh work under the Julia van der Piller moniker with a completely unexpected move into the field of chill-out and relaxed electronica, when she published a series of three EP's as Charmante Juliette a year later. Surprisingly, the move would prove to be her most successful offering yet, garnering widespread attention both in her native Russia and beyond. It also all but forced her to question the roots of her creativity and search for new means of channeling them. Accordingly, Charmante Juliette set the tone for a new direction in her work in general and intensifying her search for tangents between breakcore and techno and the fusion of otherwise seemingly contradictory scenes – most notably on her latest four-track EP "No Matter", which seamlessly binds together the aesthetics of psychedelic trance and warp-era electronica with what sounds like a mashup of hip-hop and experimental sound art. Unlikely? Brace yourself for another sweet punch by Julia van der Piller to convince you otherwise.

Tobias Fischer (tokafi.com)

The co-founder of Random Manifestation - bulgarian netlabel.

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