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Bloodsport

There’s a static, mangled hiss that distorts the opening ‘Woodcutter’ to the point that it almost feels intentionally suppressive and disparaging of the flurrying, melodic undercurrent that attempts to glide below.

It’s an opening track that challenges any listener’s arrival at the record, which is perhaps a fitting emblem for Blood Sport as a whole.

Which, of course, is what makes them so fantastic.

Halo’s music is undeniably solo work – unique, introspective, sonically isolated – and Halo herself seems the same.

A phone interview, let alone a face-to-face conversation, was out of the question for this piece – her label Hyperdub reported that “she’s very cautious about interviews and prefers email”.

However, as her new album, ‘Chance of Rain’, confirms, with its total lack of vocals and melody, that record might turn out to have been a blip: “You might have missed the catalogue that came before [‘Quarantine’],” she writes, slightly scoldingly, in her emailed reply. “If anything, [‘Quarantine’’s] sound and approach was more a departure for me.” Then again, perhaps not.

Back in April, presumably while ‘Chance of Rain’ was under construction, she tweeted, “I feel like making some fuck you in the ass techno now.”

The music of the city is only a small part of what has shaped Forte’s music, however.

It turns out to be extremely positive. “‘Easy Lover’, man. That’s one of the greatest songs ever. The intro is amazing. That’s what gets me going. A lot of pop music influences me, especially ’80s pop. I grew up listening to everything. Bloodsport

That’s why my favourite song is Tears For Fears – ‘Everybody Wants To Rule The World’. You know those songs as soon as you hear them.

“My music is known in Syria by most of the traditional singers. There are singers that sing in the same style and who usually take my work and copy it, but I don’t feel bad about this or the success that they may have, as they all know that they’re copying me.”Bloodsport

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