Ela Minus’ “Juan Sant” Is Bright Music for Dark Times

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Fans of Ela Minus‘ lo-fi, experimental electronic pop may be pleasantly surprised by “Juan Sant.” The first single off the solo producer’s soon-to-be-released third EP Adapt has all the simplicity, arty abstraction, and catchiness of the Colombian artist’s music as we got to know it on her earlier EPs First Words and Grow, but it’s tighter and more polished. The slinky, danceable beat and the bass line are fused, nearly one element. The chiming synth notes seem to hang in a careful arrangement, like a mobile made of sound. The production is limpid. Her voice moves easily over it all like a slender cat slipping along a fence.

Only the dryly pessimistic lyrics (“Entiendo que no importa toda la evolución”) intrude on the smooth perfection. Where once Ela Minus would have picked her way through the song, giving the impression of a space traveler discovering the surface of a strange planet, she now flows as though it has become familiar territory. An artist can only experiment for so long before they find a sound they really like and figure out exactly how to make it. “Juan Sant” sounds like that moment has already come for the producer, but she still sounds inspired, if a tiny bit less playful. Based on these tea leaves, our prediction for Adapt is that it will reveal a new, leveled up Ela Minus, but rest assured, our audionaut is still exploring new soundscapes and we still definitely want to come along on the journey.