Workaround’ is the lucidly playful and ambitious solo debut album by rhythmobsessive musician and DJ, Beatrice Dillon for PAN. It combines her love of UK club music’s syncopated suss and Afro-Caribbean influences with a gamely experimental approach to modern composition and stylistic fusion, using inventive sampling and luminous mixing techniques adapted from modern pop to express fresh ideas about groove-driven music and perpetuate its form with timeless, future-proofed clarity.
Recorded over 2017-2019 between studios in London, Berlin and New York, ‘Workaround’ renders a hypnotic series of polymetric permutations at a fixed 150bpm tempo. Mixing meticulous FM synthesis and harmonics with crisply edited acoustic samples from a wide range of guests including UK Bhangra pioneer Kuljit Bhamra (tabla); Pharoah Sanders Band’s Jonny Lam (pedal steel guitar); techno innovators Laurel Halo (synth/vocal) and Batu (samples); Senegalese Griot Kadialy Kouyaté (Kora), Hemlock’s Untold and new music specialist Lucy Railton (cello); amongst others, Dillon deftly absorbs their distinct instrumental colours and melody into 14 bright and spacious computerised frameworks that suggest immersive, nuanced options for dancers, DJs and domestic play.
‘Workaround’ evolves Dillon’s notions in a coolly unfolding manner that speaks directly to the album’s literary and visual inspirations, ranging from James P. Carse’s book ‘Finite And Infinite Games’ to the abstract drawings of Tomma Abts or Jorinde Voigt as well as painter Bridget Riley’s essays on grids and colour. Operating inside this rooted but mutable theoretical wireframe, Dillon’s ideas come to life as interrelated, efficient patterns in a self-sufficient system.