Neneh Cherry’s Blank Project is her first solo album in 16 years, produced by Kieran Hebden aka Four Tet, and featuring a guest appearance by Robyn.
Neneh spent her childhood living 50/50 between a loft in New York and in the South of Sweden with her mother and stepfather, the legendary jazz musician Don Cherry. As a teen she moved to London and helped form the anarchic multi-ethnic, multi-genre band Rip, Rig + Panic. She was subsequently one of the first to bring hip-hop culture to a British audience with her worldwide solo hit “Buffalo Stance” and the Raw Like Sushi album.
Through post-punk’s adherence to mixed-race line-ups and anti-government stance, to UK rap’s refusal of the conventions of pop, trip-hop’s connection with the politicized elements of rave culture and, through 1996’s Man, where she introduced elements of Senegalese language to mainstream audiences via the mammoth “7 Seconds” single featuring Youssou N’Dour, and now, with Blank Project, Neneh Cherry continues to arrive at moments in musical history when there is an opportunity to subvert ideas of popular culture.
“Four Tet’s sparse, apocalyptic production practically demands Yeezus comparisons. But then again, Cherry was singing over sparse, brutal, state-of-the-art rap sonics nearly a quarter century ago.”