Juana Molina, ‘Wed 21’

Juana Molina’s strategy is unwavering and deceptively simple: She establishes a brief ostinato (usually with bass, sometimes with guitar) that loops, unchanged, ad infinitum and then she commences stacking, shuffling layers of vocals and warm electronic tidbits in and out of the mix so the listener’s always hearing something the same but different. It’s a bit like the Residents playing Stereolab, and “Wed 21” casts an entrancing spell . . . up to a point. “Ferocisimo” slowly but surely whips itself into ecstasy, and “Sin Guia, No” might be even better, building to a percussive shudder until it breaks and the song drops back to the Argentine singer’s ethereal voice and the circular descent of the guitar before repeating the cycle. But except for “El Oso De La Guarda,” which unravels in its second half into atonal bloops and squawks, none of the songs on “Wed 21” deviates harmonically from what Molina sets down in the first five or 10 seconds. They have growth but no movement. (Out Tuesday) MARC HIRSH

ESSENTIAL “Ferocisimo”

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