When listening to so much post-rave, R&B-indebted bass music, one can’t help but detect a certain critical distance. It’s like they can’t get the power and force of the gravel landslide sub-bass and jerking, jittering trap rhythms to jive with the stories of seduction, temptation, malaise, and emptiness the vocals are trying to evoke. Sometimes we can’t help but think that, with R&B resurging as one of the hottest styles of the last decade, that many producers working with the form hadn’t so much as looked at a Sade or a TLC record before hearing James Blake or The Weeknd.

Natasha Kmeto, on the other hand, inhabits both R&B and autre dance music, bringing both to sparking, tear-jerking life, as she yokes blistering rave synths, silken smooth sub-bass, and spartan beats to her tales of yearning and coping. On Inevitable, Natasha Kmeto successfully blends the head and the heart, with a soulful combination of machines and voice.

Natasha Kmeto - Inevitable Album Review

Inevitable creeps in with the jaw-dropping, plaintiff title track, with Kmeto’s soulful siren vocals crying, “When you coming back?” over a dull, distant bass drum pulse and sonar bassline, with high hats creeping in like a battalion of militant crab androids. Her vocals begin to stack and layer as ghost choirs of clone harmonies close in, while a slow bass builds to an almost unbearable tension. You begin to physically ache for the release, waiting for the sweet sundrop endorphin release.

Except it doesn’t come.

Yet.

Kmeto drags out the longing for one more verse, only to erupt in a Terminator army of snapping snares and layered vocals, pummeling you into sweet surrender.

From here, Kmeto vacillates between personal reflection and dancefloor abandon. Inevitable picks up where Kmeto’s first album, Crisis, left off, which found the producer’s first stages of exploring her sexuality in public. Inevitable is even more open, more exploratory and explanatory, as Kmeto lets us into her world, inside her secret heart, where we lose ourselves in fog and mirrors and strobe lights.

Kmeto is the definition of a solo artist, working in the intersection of DJ, producer, and live musician. This can cause some confusion among crowds, who don’t know what to make of the confluence. But this way, Kmeto doesn’t have to contend with some BS assumptions about who makes the beats or who writes the songs… Kmeto is, however, starting to open up her soundworld, on duets with TV On The Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe, and recent projects with Portland R&B artist Chanti Darling. It’ll be stellar to hear what Kmeto does, working with other artists and musicians.

most mainstream electronica quickly succumbs to tropes and cliche, becoming yawningly predictable before they’ve even begun, Natasha Kmeto neutralizes this tendency with a true musician’s ear and inherent understanding of arrangement, using every sound to maximum efficacy, letting every note speak for itself. Rarely will you hear more than three sounds at one time, and every drum hit and synth line is lovingly enraptured in glowing reverb and delay.

These nuances — the millions of tiny aesthetic choices that go into making a winning track — are what make Inevitable glow like a nuclear angel against a bland backdrop of imitators with nothing to say. When an artist takes the time to present their material perfectly, a spell is cast, and allowed to grow. Their stories live, behind your eyes, and you begin to feel what they feel, as you relate and intersect with the creator. In a way, you are becoming the artist, for a time, as well as letting them inside your fortress of solitude. Listening to an album like Inevitable can be an incredibly intimate experience.

It’s incredibly exciting, and important, that Kmeto is speaking, singing, candidly about her love relationships, and relationships of all kinds. As she said in a recent interview with FACT Magazine, “I find myself constantly in search of art in all forms that I can relate to without having to switch the pronouns in my mind.”

And, of course, this music doesn’t need some theoretical underpinning to make it work. It bangs and it thuds and it cajoles and it caresses in all the right ways, without a bunk note in sight. The conceptual underpinning is merely the icing on a very sweet cake.

Natasha Kmeto – Inevitable Full Album Stream

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