Magda and Jay Ahearn flip the script for a debut album courtesy of Optimo Music
When Magda and Jay Ahearn originally unveiled their Blotter Trax project back in 2016 on the mighty 312 imprint. The style and sound of their music leant towards the dense, wigged-out end of trippy Acid and Electro – complete with faceless anonymity, as they opted to place their sonic mission at the front and centre of their missives.
A collaboration between Techno titan Magda and serial agitator Jay Ahern, a sometime Hauntologists member and acid techno royalty, thanks to his releases as T.B Arthur. Before the COVID-19 pandemic grounded them in Berlin, the pair took their incendiary, modular-driven live show to many esteemed clubland institutions including a tour of Japan and the stages of festivals across Europe. Fast forward a few years and the duo have flipped the script with their debut album ‘Superconductor’, which lands courtesy of the ever brilliant beacon that is Optimo Music headed up by JD Twitch.
Comprised of 11 tracks in total, they’ve evolved their vision into a genuinely brilliant collection of far-sighted, twisted pop-tinged workouts. Drawing heavily on their roots and joint love of early 80s NYC leftfield new-wave and purist electronic punk-funk. Having decided to throwing in the addition of bass and guitar from new third member Hannes Strobl (and guest Shigeru Tanabu) to inject organic elements. The vocals are lead courtesy of principal songwriter and singer Nina Hynes, who seemingly humanises their sound even further, and also features appearances from singers Ilhem Khodja and David Moss.
As Hayes puts it: “Super Conductor is the realisation that agency is within one’s own control. A reminder to cease that knowledge with a playfulness around the concept that our own minds and feelings can be used like a technology to reprogram and manipulate our cellular selves, so we can thrive in the modern cult of health and youth. I am the Super Conductor.”
Manifesto aside, the music on this album is a riot of joyous wonk and powerfully oddball hip-twitching crunk that rarely exceeds mid-tempo, as they glide through a carefully crafted excursion into their collectively hazy gestalt. From the sparse klunk of ‘Machine Sky’, to the thoughtfully angelic harmonies added to the churn of title track ‘Super Conductor’, the heavy slew of ‘Dictation’ or the wavy psychedelics of ‘Circus in My Head’, not to mention the bliss inducing ending of ‘Sleeping Through The Day’. There is a lot to admire and then some in this body of work, a triumphant full-length debut that could well turn out to be one of the most interesting Electronic LPs of 2023.