Having moved to Berlin from his native Montreal, new DFA recruit Dan Bodan has appropriated the harsh twilight sounds of the German capital and breathed into them a warm, disarming humanity. As he gradually found his voice, his early work bore too close a resemblance to the plaintive, understated disco of Arthur Russell, but ‘Soft’ finds Bodan sculpting a sound that is singular and remarkably confident.

Blending tender electronic soul, sultry vocal jazz and heartbreaking synthpop with production that is in turns gentle and unapologetically abrasive, Bodan covers love’s full spectrum of emotions. Standouts include ‘Romeo’ – a sumptuous, 3am RnB jam – and ‘Reload’, a track that punctuates gossamer Russell-esque organs with Amen breaks and yet which works beautifully. ‘Soft As Rain’, however, is the album’s real high point. A gorgeous leftfield pop anthem, this is the last slow dance of the night if the DJ can’t decide between Spandau Ballet and Lapalux. James Murphy himself would be proud of the decadently full-bodied tom-tom sound Bodan manages to conjure up. Oh, and his voice isn’t bad either.


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