On Deck: BABii

The world of English producer and musician BABii is illuminated by the glow of smeared synths, fluorescent beats, and the persuasive hues of her otherworldly voice. She makes dance-pop for insomniacs, with the music possessing a kind of desperate openness and a need to divulge torrents of emotion without regard for consequence. The sounds cascade over you, overwhelming your senses and drawing you into a dimly-lit environment where love can be dangerous and happiness is dependent only on the capacities of your heart.

Her work is completely enthralling and apt to keep you up until four in the morning obsessing over every last word and tone. There’s no room here for falseness or idle thoughts; the songs demand your absolute attention, and in return, they offer a glimpse into the inner mechanics of her creativity, a bit of brief but potent voyeurism that effortlessly reshapes your thoughts about the way pop and electronic music can entangle themselves together. 

And though BABii released her debut record, HiiDE, in July of last year, she hasn’t really given herself time to slow down or dwell too long on the present — her gaze is locked on the future and what undefinable realities it might hold for her. Following her debut, she shared an album later in September that found her collaborating with Iglooghost and Kai Whiston under the GLOO moniker.

She continues to deconstruct and adapt these hazy rhythms and early morning melodies through iii, a three-song EP that she released last week. She describes it as: “three songs about the proximity of three different people in my life. One who I don’t want in my proximity, another who wants me out of theirs and one who I want in mine.” The record is equal parts venomous and affectionate, with BABii reveling in a gorgeously washed-out devastation.

Recently, BABii sat down with Beats Per Minute to discuss some of the records which have inspired her throughout the years and given her new perspectives when it comes to building her own music. Check out her choices and thoughts below.

Joanna Newsom – Ys
(Drag City; 2006)

I have loved this album forever, the words are wild, I have no idea what they mean, but it doesn’t matter because they are still so full of emotion and so beautiful, that they can make my eyes leak pretty music every time I get half way through the song “Only Skin”. Also she is a living mythical creature, her voice is so otherworldly and her music is so magical and this album always makes me feel like I am somewhere else, like I am in a blissed out ancient world covered in moss.

Rustie – Glass Swords
(Warp; 2011)

Apparently Rustie is my most listened to artist from the last decade, so this has to be important to me. When this came out 9 years ago, nothing sounded like this, it was the most HD thing I had ever heard and it somehow made the most synthetic sounds sound so good. I also really don’t think it gets enough credit for what a huge influence it has been on electronic music in general though, it was super forward thinking and brave at the time. And its still good, I just listened to it.

Why? – Alopecia
(Anticon; 2008)

This album had a huge influence on me when I was younger. It really changed the way I thought about words. All the words on this album sound like I shouldn’t be hearing them. They sound like an internal monologue or from a diary or something, but not only are they uncomfortably personal, they are also written so beautifully. I can’t believe I got to go on tour with them last year, I was surreal at first, but now they are my friends.

Buke & Gase – Ripost
(Brassland; 2010)

I really don’t know what it is about this album but I since I first heard it I have listened to it 1000000 times. I love it! Nothing else sounds like it. Its super raw and scrappy and powerful. And the song writing constantly keeps you on your toes, so many unexpected twists and turns, crazy melodies, and weird chords. It’s organised chaos and the song “Sleep Gets Your Ghost” is huge!

FKA twigs – M3LL155X
(Young Turks; 2015)

To me FKA twigs is the most talented person in the whole world, and truly deserves it because she is one of the most hardworking and inspiring artists. I know this one isn’t exactly an album, but it is too good not to include. To me the songs are like possessed R&B songs, they are scary, but also delicate. I think FKA twigs really opened my eyes to pushing the boundaries with production with pop songs and solidified my thoughts of not to be scared of doing things that people might not initially understand.