As both singer-songwriter and electronic musician, the sound on Rudi Zygadlo s new album Tragicomedies defies easy categorisation and pigeonholing. His debut, 2010 s Great Western Laymen , took the fundamentals of dubstep to a point previously unheard, amalgamating off-kilter influences like choral music and Frank Zappa into the mix, opening the ground for the inevitable fusion of dubstep and song that was to follow from many artists. At the time, The Fader called his debut smart, weird pop songs built with big ideas and the kind of magpie ingenuity that is sometimes mistaken for mental illness. Wilfully perverse as ever, Rudi took his second album Tragicomedies on a different trajectory, dumping the dubstep chassis, while leaving its faint traces and treatments, jump cuts and edits. Tragicomedies is a puzzling, romantic and emotionally open album, cerebral, yet poppy and direct, weaving from woody, folky arrangements to doo-wop and the elegant structures and motifs of classical music in an unforced and playful way. The album opens with a lyrical reminder of past love, the woozy pitchy piano ballad of Kopernikuss , which is swiftly followed by Melpomene , where the piano vamps reach a crescendo while Rudi sings of his lost love. By the time we reach the album closer it's clear Zygadlo has been operating in a musical zone unique to himself, with the repetition of the classical Minimalist replacing some of the dubstep-inspired structure of his past as just one key aspect of this bold album. Listen more closely and you'll detect echoes of a broad range of music including Laurie Anderson, Raymond Scott, Le Mystère Des Voix Bulgares, Alfred Schnittke, John Zorn, Bach, Prince and much more. But what's most striking is how Rudi's twisted take on pop has a distinctly 2012 feel to it. The music and the lyrics of each song burst at the seams with a sense of now. This is music pouring out of Rudi Zygadlo in the most natural way possible. Full of emotion, life and living. Sensationally so. In the process of making Tragicomedies , Zygadlo moved from his native Glasgow to Berlin where he had a couple of life-changing experiences there and they wrote most of the album . However, instead of soaking up the electronic music culture that often brings people to the place, the sound of Berlin does not define this album, and it s not a Berlin song cycle or techno album. Instead, Tragicomedies is inspired by three key sources Other music. Other conversations. Other literature. Free from genre constraints, Rudi Zygadlo is crafting the kind of intelligent music his hero Frank Zappa would be making if he were producing now in the wake of the bass music revolution. It s Pop for people who read.