Bodycode [Perlon / Spectral Sound]

Live - Travels from Paris, FRA

In a scene saturated by kick drums and synthesisers, there’s a voice in electronic music that really stands out: Alan Abrahams. Born in South Africa and growing up in Cape Town, his music as Portable first surfaced on the Süd Electronic label he co-founded in London during the early-2000s with fellow countrywoman Lerato. Following future releases on Düsseldorf’s revered Background label, it’s since been the likes of ~scape and Dial to Live at Robert Johnson and !K7 that have championed Abrahams music, but perhaps most notably it’s been a clutch of EPs and his Into Infinity album for Perlon that has peaked most interest.

As Bodycode, however, a more dance-oriented project linked to the soul of Portable’s music, Abrahams’ style brings together the indigenous sounds of his youth with his love for the proto-futuristic form of ‘90s Chicago house. It’s Ghostly International’s sister label Spectral Sound that’s home to sound of Bodycode with two albums, to further records on Efdemin’s Naïf label via a split 12” with Nina Kraviz, and a spot appearance on Perlon’s 2018 Super Longevity 6 compilation. But what makes Abrahams such the singular artist is the instantly recognisable demeanour of his woozy and thinly vocoded vocals. With his rockabilly style microphone, crew cut and sharp fashion sense now something of a trademark, Bodycode live sets have been noted to feel more like a one-man concert than live electronic performance.

With a monthly radio show on Rinse FM France, regular slots for Get Perlonized! at Panorama Bar and a noted resident for Welsh festival Freerotation, Abrahams’ experimentation with polyrhythmic rhythms, downtempo pop and the syncopation of abstract dance music has seen the artist carve out an untouchable niche of his own within the scene. And having now launched a new soul and jazz-inspired project called RANGEr via London label Waella’s Choice, Abrahams adds yet more contemporary nuance to the sound of his South African roots.