Debuting with the ethereal “Time Hurtz” on Modeselektor's “Modeselektion Vol. 3” compilation, Berlin artist Born In Flamez began by giving us everything and nothing – a deeply personal work nonetheless divorced from context or identity. Not that BIF ever defaulted to anonymity… the person behind the music was always front-and-center, yet inscrutable. The song’s equally diaphanous and commanding vocal work, its lyrical soliloquizing of hesitance and stasis, its gripping emotional qualia – these would demand in the listener an intimacy that is usually exclusive to pop fandom, while providing no hand-holding narrative outside of the music itself. This novel approach would continue throughout the UnReaL EP debut, the IM-released collab with Modeselektor, “TBF”, and culminate in Infinite Machine’s 53rd main series release, their first of 2017, and BIF’s sophomore EP – “Careful You Might Tear The Sound”.
And despite the proclamation of frailty, BIF’s newest music is nothing but. Wistful, yes. Wounded, yes. But there is strength, catharsis and transcendence encoded within. These sounds are tear-proof. The loopy, mechanistic dembow of the title track gallops onward with tenacity amid sombre angelic incantations and off-beat numbers station interjections. The demure 7/8 gait of “50 Down”, and its nursery-rhyme-inflected calliope/Triton melodies hide deeply mournful social commentary on (and the eulogizing of) the Orlando Pulse massacre. BIF’s titular instruction might be reflexive – indeed, when the vitreous, FX-destroyed vocal motifs chime in, there is a sense that the track is ripping itself apart. And it is wonderfully poignant.
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