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Public Lover is Bruno Pronsato and Ninca Leece, two artists making some of Berlin's most personal electronic music. Each half of the duo is distinctive on its own: Bruno is an idiosyncratic techno artist with nearly a dozen records under his belt, and Ninca Leece is a French singer and producer who debuted in 2010, with a full-length album and the acclaimed Feed Me Rainbows EP on Bruno's label, thesongsays. Together they make music that, stylistically, shares something with peers like Isolee or Thomas Melchior, but in spirit reflects a different set of influences: Blonde Redhead, Matthew Herbert, Bon Iver, Roxy Music et al. It's this synthesis that makes Public Lover so irresistibly compelling: electronic production with a songwriter's sense of sincerity.
The group began in 2010 as a side project. Ninca Leece had just finished her debut album and was working on her live act––a lush audio-visual affair led by her own endearing vocals. Bruno was wrapping up his third full-length, an album Pitchfork would later call "a striking, massive statement" that "aligns Pronsato with artists like Terre Thaemlitz and Theo Parrish." As they collaborated more and more, an interesting chemistry emerged: Bruno's trademark production style––a warm and surreal sound he once described as "romantic techno"––gave Ninca Leece a rich foundation, while her ear for melody and her French-accented vocals brought his productions to life. They started rehearsing constantly at their flat in Prenzlauer Berg, reworking each song again and again until it reached maturity. That fall they released their debut EP, Musique D'Hiver Pour L' Été, on thesongsays, and quickly followed it with Naked Figures on Telegraph. Their style immediately struck a chord, with their song "I Try" landing in Resident Advisor's top tracks of the year.
Meanwhile, Public Lover designed their live act, which, like their records, ignores the conventions of club culture in favor of something more performance-oriented. With both artists at the controls–-one laptop, a drum machine, keyboards and a microphone––they weave through loose interpretations of their own songs, with Ninca Leece on lead vocals all the while. It's an act that works best in small clubs or even galleries, but that's easily adjusted to bigger venues. Not six months after their first release, the duo had played live around the world, from Warehouse 702 in Tokyo to MUTEK festival in Montreal.
All the glowing feedback they received, combined with their own absorption in the project, made a Public Lover album inevitable. A Broken Shape of You was released on the 31st of January 2012, and put the full range of their strengths on display: lyrically seductive, texturally vivid and as sophisticated in melody as it is in rhythm. Playful, mysterious and romantic, it makes Public Lover the most alluring new act in electronic music.
Public Lover’s tracks