Welcome to the fütch.

In a recent BBC Radio 1 interview, Kanye West coined the term “fütch,” a contraction of “future” so ahead of the game that it doesn’t yet exist in the English language. “Fütch” is a good way to describe Kelela’s brand of pop, which combines her airy, angelic vocals with sparse, austere beats that clang with thunderous percussion and mechanical-sounding samples. On the title track of her new EP, Hallucinogen, the singer loops her voice while keyboard melodies warp slightly out of tune. Eventually, Kelela’s singing speeds up until her words become a collage of indecipherable syllables. As her voice becomes increasingly processed, the beat also reveals its glitches. The track highlights the imperfections of computerized processes we typically consider infallible while positioning Kelela as something of a cyborg. As the cover of her 2014 album, Cut 4 Me — on which Kelela appears as a hologram — suggests, her work often deals with the interplay between human and machine in our increasingly digitized world. Kelela performs at The Independent with singer Lafawndah.


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