Puce Mary

If someone decided to compile a list of the most influential noiseniks of the past decade, Puce Mary would certainly make it. Early in her career, the Danish musician was involved in the beginnings of the seminal Copenhagen community Posh Isolation. However, she soon veered away from aggressive noise towards subtler tapestries of negative emotions; sheer sonic terror was gradually replaced by a stronger sense of ambiguity. On her three breakthrough albums, Persona, The Spiral and The Drought (the last one released on the prestigious PAN label), Frederikke Hoffmeier followed in the vein of old industrial music powerhouses like SPK and Whitehouse, dabbling in a darkness that was always coming from inside the human mind. Over time, she added understated if haunting soundscapes to the menacing noise pulses and processed vocals, and increasingly focused on making every track an elaborate, compact sonic canvas. The music usually carries an aura of apathy and disgust, seeming at once inhuman and all too intimate, its total control and calm simultaneously mesmerising and terrifying. Last year's You Must Have Been Dreaming represents another step in her evolution. Hoffmeier largely abandons noise for expressive, almost cinematic compositions full of unreal choruses and strings, which nod to the post-internet avant-garde without abandoning her long-standing compositional rigour.