Topical Dancer

Topical Dancer

It’s not easy to dance with one’s tongue buried deeply in cheek. But Charlotte Adigéry and Bolis Pupul effortlessly combine lean, punchy electro-pop with an unapologetically sarcastic sense of humor. On the Belgian duo’s debut album, Topical Dancer, the two musicians draw on their multicultural backgrounds to take sly potshots at racism, sexism, and self-doubt. On “Esperanto,” Adigéry riffs on microaggressions over plunging electric bass, and on “Blenda,” she marries a crisp, funky groove with a surprisingly vulnerable chorus: “Go back to your country where you belong/Siri, can you tell me where I belong?” Co-produced by their longtime collaborators Soulwax, the album slices neatly across the overlap between punky disco, indie dance, and underground house; ’80s avant-pop influences (Art of Noise, Talking Heads) brush up against the sing-speaking wit of contemporaries like Marie Davidson and Dry Cleaning. Some of the album’s most powerful moments transcend language entirely: On “Haha,” Adigéry’s laughter is chopped up and dribbled over an EBM-inspired beat, making for a slow-motion floor-filler that’s as surreal as it is captivating.

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