Pillow Queen, the production duo of D. Tiffany and Vani-T, continue their sonic, sensous charting of the dancefloor in their new 3-track release Calling Me, a collaboration with the vocalist, writer and sex worker Ruin. Sexual drive has always been in the alchemy of Pillow Queen’s music, but at the fore is a wider, more encompassing erotics – one of the spirit and uninhibited body. Such is the force Ruin and the girls incant on this record.
The opening track, which also gives the release its title, begins with wide, introspective chords. “Calling Me” is spacious, and takes its time to build over 10 and a half gorgeous minutes, riding on at 118 BPM. Akin to some works of Robert Leiner or John Beltran, it’s a track situating spirituality in the genre of trance via the builds and flows of the music itself, rather than gimmicky cues of “Eastern” Goa vocals or overblown psychedelic drama. As always with Pillow Queen, the vocal samples are pitched and twisted with the greatest care.
By their third release, one can begin to note the duo’s characteristic gestures, and “Tunnel Vision” is somehow emblematic here: those pitched vocals, synth loops frayed out from filters, and crisp, bright drum programming that makes 134 BPM feel like the most natural metronome your feet and ass could follow. We hear Ruin for the first time two minutes in: “You cannot tunnel vision me”. She speaks of a “dance without dogma” in between short choral swells, picking up on the theme of a rewritten divine that figures into Pillow Queen’s Burn Me Up (2020). The phrase “dance without dogma” refers to the writings of Gabrielle R