"I just don't know what I'm supposed to be, you know? I'm stuck. Does it get easier?" This ambivalent snatch of dialogue in "What's A Girl To Do" (sourced from Sofia Coppola's Lost In Translation) doesn't exactly suggest dance floor dynamite. Yet the 2004 track is Bas Bron's biggest hit as Fatima Yamaha, having received a high-profile reissue on Dekmantel this summer. Perhaps its very innocuousness is the secret to its success. It's sweet and melancholy but doesn't overstate its case.
Bron's latest album, the first new Yamaha material since the reissue, is just as unimposing. So much so that I'd listened to it half a dozen times before I noticed its political message. There's the album title, of course, plus loaded track titles like "Borderless II," "Shuppatsu" ("departure" in Japanese) and "Night Crossing." The news in 2015 has been dominated by the worst global refugee crisis since World War II, and Imaginary Lines seems to be Bron's own humble commentary on the situation.