Classical composer turned pop producer Anna Meredith, whose career still ranges from symphonic performance to body percussion, debuted in 2016 with Varmints. That album gamely mixed electronic and acoustic, instrumental and vocal, to uneven but intriguing effect. FIBS plays in the same sandpit, but too many songs feel inconsequential, disappearing as you listen to them. Moonmoons is briefly promising, before it loses interest in itself. More typically, Inhale Exhale begins like a headache and gets steadily more annoying.

You could maybe salvage Bump, a brassy, over-caffeinated number that might be remixed into a more brutally effective piece. Similarly, Calion’s tasteful techno threatens to uncoil into something Jon Hopkins would be proud of, but Meredith lacks his feel for the floor, his call to the hips.

It’s a boldly idiosyncratic collection, and generous in its aims, but it’s also an unsatisfyingly structured racket. Arrangements rarely offer coherence or catharsis and there are so many tinny, trebly sounds that drift off into the ether. It’s heartening that Meredith has such ambition, but she can do better than this.

Watch the video for Inhale Exhale by Anna Meredith.


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