The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music Reviews - Tim McNa­mara

Take Flight Maya Jane Coles BMG /ADA /I/AM/ME Since emerg­ing nearly a decade ago with tech­house EPs on 1trax and Dog­matik Records, Bri­tish-Ja­panese pro­ducer Maya Jane Coles has fash­ioned a world­wide fol­low­ing while show­ing im­pres­sive growth. Take Flight, the 24-track mon­ster fol­low-up to 2013’s de­but Com­fort, shows just how far she has come. Strad­dling tougher elec­tronic and more dreamy down­tempo worlds, Coles demon­strates a ma­tu­rity in pro­duc­tion and song­writ­ing. On Dark­side she links with Lon­doner Ch­elou, who con­trib­utes a chant­ing vo­cal on top of big beat drums, a re­cur­rent horn stab and sub­tle blips, while We Fell From Earth’s Wendy Rae Fowler lends her haunt­ing pipes to the men­ac­ing, claphappy A Chem­i­cal Af­fair and Misty Morn­ing. The con­trast be­tween en­er­getic and more at­mo­spheric tunes is stark. Whereas first sin­gle Cherry Bomb cov­ers melodic bass ter­ri­tory, cur­rent sin­gle and al­bum opener Weak is a more slow-charged, brood­ing num­ber where Coles’s voice shines. Bo & Wing con­tin­ues the de­scent into dark­ness with its eerie in­tro and fil­tered vo­cal stabs through­out. Golden Days is a stand­out, another dark, slightly more up-tempo house groove bounded by Coles’s echo­ing vo­cal, strings and tech flour­ishes. Pass­ing Me By and Stay con­tinue the al­bum’s dance-floor re­vival and Pulse rounds things off on a hyp­notic tip. Coles says that when she makes mu­sic, she’s “let­ting peo­ple into a way more per­sonal and vulnerable side of me”. Much of the ma­te­rial isn’t nec­es­sar­ily in­tended for the dance floor, even if in­evitable remix pack­ages will take it there. The num­ber of tunes here does make the head spin, but therein lies its charm.

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