Tag Archives: Shy One

The Best Electronic Albums of 2017

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Dark times call for music that’s strange, wonderful, and yes, even dark, and we’ve certainly been getting plenty of that in 2017’s club sounds. Sometimes, that means adding urgency to escapist music, and that’s OK. But there’s also been a huge drive towards music that transmits powerful messages, or contributes strongly to real-world community building. Dance culture has, at its best, provided voices for the voiceless, spaces for expression, and a level playing field for people who wouldnt’t otherwise meet to connect. As we adapt to the radically networked world, electronic music is finding new ways of expressing those principles. Continue reading

Shy One’s Colorful Grime Origin Story

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Mali Larrington-Nelson, aka Shy One, doesn’t believe in rushing. Her 2011 EP Decaffeinated Love and the follow-up album Bedknobs & Boomkicks (both on the DVA music label run by maverick producer and radio personality Scratcha DVA) didn’t generate tidal waves of hype, but they did win passionate fans among the people who heard them. Then, a five-year silence set in until the Other Side EP arrived on U.S./Japanese label Diskotopia last year. Now, Shy One is back with her new EP, Waterfalls.

Her production style, like her club and radio DJ sets, is unique in its ability to fuse all of London’s underground subgenres of the past few decades into a completely coherent whole, always with a fine balance of soundsystem fierceness and soul/jazz poise and sophistication. Maybe it’s to be expected that she should have a sense of history: after all, her father is Trevor Nelson, a prominent soul/R&B DJ and a BBC Radio fixture of many years.

But when we met her for a beer in a South London café garden, it became clear her music discovery has been idiosyncratic and 100% her own doing. Even though she has been sporadic in her releases, it’s obvious her immersion in music over the past decade-plus has been total and there’s even more to expect in the future.

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