Monkoora is the musical moniker of Julie Crawford, a Glaswegian multi-instrumentalist and purveyor of enticing "freak-folk" compositions. Skimming the internet throws up a number of releases under this name, so we'll start with a little background before getting into the details of latest release Nuclear BB.
Starting in 2014 with Shake The Trees, Let The Bugs Fall On You we have an edgy and distorted collection of tracks, which sets the tone for the material to come, 'Pearlescent Sky Elephants' is a looming monster and the centrepiece of the release. In contrast, Sky-Fi released in the same year has a much more sunny disposition, characterised in part through the use of a ukulele throughout. Jump forward to 2016 and HotGem debut Pale Slopes and personal project WORSHIP Soundtrack help to define the musical trajectory on display, with both striking a spacious tone despite the former proving considerably more rounded than the other's haunting tones.
Now we're in 2017, and Nuclear BB is with us in all its charming and insightful glory, taking minimal beats and sparse lyrics to create interesting soundscapes.
Proceedings kick off with the cutting commentary and optimistic foundations of 'Bocx Wurld', marrying discontentment and its opposite with ease, as Crawford criticises the state of the world in no uncertain terms. 'Giant White Hs' and 'Vaping On Trains' follow this with a duo of sauntering fuzz, as both tracks are delivered in a haze of wonder.
'Repelling Radio' smashes this apathy with a dramatic opening, which feeds into the percussive and industrial 'Alaska 14' laced with broken and distorted vocal tracks. Unrelenting social awareness returns on closer 'Stradallin The Fence' as Crawford once again calls out injustice as she sees it in a thought-provoking closing proclamation.
Given the similarities, a collaboration with Jonnie Common would be great, but that's just a personal hope. Monkoora's music is enticing, the lack of unnecessary layers and flourishes leaves a lot of space for the imagination. The electronic soundscapes on display here are enjoyable but overall seem to be in their infancy, opening up the possibility that on future releases this talent will flourish.