On ‘Break’, her most combative and dystopic album, Catnapp gave new dimensions to her distinctive style.
Catnapp is one of the fiercest voices from Argentina. Her innovative explorations on rap and crushing electronic music has been a distinctive element of her glossy but blasting style from almost ten years by now.
Back when she self-released most of her early material, her experimental takes on vocal drum’n’bass, breakbeats and jungle seemed too provocative for the overall openness of her music in Argentina. After she relocated to Berlin, she has now showcasing underground and alike vocal projects in her own imprint ‘Napp Records’ and has worked with Modeselektor having them as recurrent collaborators on each other releases.
For ‘Break’, her latest full-length production, Catnapp upgraded her characteristic style as a performer and producer by delivering a conglomerate of 7 post-club oriented songs with different overwhelming outcomes, deep and confronting lyrics and both heavyweight beats and celestial melodies. Reaching an inviting balance of both experimental and dance-oriented compositions.
It doesn’t matter if her style sounds more urban, pop or experimental to you, Catnapp has always been innovative with her music, and with a new wave of young artists betting for a forward-thinking takeover on experimental rap and underground urban music in South America, it seemed like the suitable moment for Amparo to explore her sound with a dose of these freshly suited musical identities. Alongside Modeselektor, both Doxxed and El Plvybxy from argentine imprint AGVA, appear as collaborators in two of the tracks of ‘Break’, enriching the record with a futuristic and contrasting club essence.
Catnapp addressed more confrontational and aggressive feelings in the concept and lyrics of this short album. Either whispering or almost shouting, her voice fits uncommonly with the multidimensional style of her production, and her lines goes as hard or as deep according to the emotional cadence of each song.
In the hard-hitting opening ‘Down in the Basement’ Catnapp raps in a blasting way over an electric drum base that reminds the forceful style of MC Ride. In the even harder ‘Fight for a Fight’, the devastating manipulated voice of Amparo flows over an overwhelming surveilling-alarm like a beat.
‘Thunder’ is the deeper cut of the album. A dramatic guitar-like melody intensifies over a surrounding techno ambience while Catnapp repeatedly sings: « together forever » and « you make me feel so much better ». It’s an ethereal threnody that could perfectly soundtrack a love story from otherworldly places.
While the first half of ‘Break’ Catnapp showcased intense and raw feelings of resistance and confrontation, the final songs of the album develop into a more intimate and passionate encounter with the listener. In the final cut « Lengua », the beautifully processed chants of Doxxed, a haunting sub-bass harmony and a classic trance synthesizer increase the cadence of Catnapp’s heartbreaking lines.
Overall, the versatility of Amparo’s voice within the assorted sound-pallet in a combination of the astoundingly well put together little details on every beat of ‘Break’, marks this album as one of Catnapp’s most appealing production, and also one of her most club-friendly records too. It’s an aesthetically pleasant short album where most of the feelings that Catnapp imprinted on her songs is translated and showcased in the cleverest way with the most adequate sounds.
Catnapp’s album ‘Break’ is available on Bandcamp and Spotify.