Dominik Dvorak aka felicita has been associated with London’s renowned PC Music label and releasing music for a couple of years now, but this is his first album. He has decided to call it hej!, as in the Polish word to start (or end) a conversation, but said with the familiarity of a friend. Through the 32-minute album you will certainly come to be very familiar with the producer’s history and personality.

felicita’s position on PC Music has made sense in the past, as he has put out glitchy and effervescent electronic music that as akin to the label’s trademark sound – especially when working with label founder A. G. Cook as Lipgloss Twins. hej!, however, sees him branching out into more restrained and understated areas – but he doesn’t spare on the frenetic and pulverising either. hej! also distinguishes itself by being a document of felicita’s current entity and a delve into his Polish heritage, carving an abstract portrait of its creator.

The opening couplet of tracks perfectly encapsulates these two aims. The opening title track ‘hej!’ is a spare piano ballad, filled with shrieks and capped off by a brief verse in Polish. The delicacy and quaintness of the moment is punctured as ‘coughing up amber’ lands with a bouncing bass note, which flexes back into a warped beat and a demented vocal loop. Keen-eared listeners may notice that there are elements of the previously released ‘coughing up pearls’ (from 2016’s A New Family EP), but here they are reworked into something sharper, better-defined and more impactful. It could be taken as a subtle statement on felicita’s development as an artist and person, having come a long way from Dominik Dvorak and now fully inhabiting this new mould in a way that’s more comfortable and natural.

‘coughing up amber’ is not the only moment where previously-aired felicita material is interpolated. ‘soft power’ and ‘soft power ii’ are taken from the collaborative performance piece Soft Power created with Polish traditional dance ensemble Śląsk. Although curtailed from the original, ‘soft power’ and ‘soft power ii’ still capture the spirit of the project, incorporating some of the movement and percussive energy of the dancers. ‘elena’ and later track ‘elena again’ are references to a similar multidisciplinary project Elena, undertaken with Matt Copson and the University of Arizona, where their goal was to “restore an ancient animatronic doll, originally discovered in 1925.” So, in a way, hej! is at once a debut album and a retrospective of the many facets of felicita’s artistry – and they fit surprisingly beautifully alongside the new and more indefinable productions here.

There are still many highlights to be heard in the entirely new material, too. Again the dichotomy between the fiercely modern artist and the traditional Polish background is carefully balanced between the two consecutive tracks ‘shook’ and ‘marzipan’. The former is a chaotic downpour of fizzling textures, puffed up with a melodically distorted booming low-end; over the course of its frantic two minutes, felicita continually interrogates the consistency of these elements, warping them into misshapen and pounding clumps. This is followed straight on with ‘marzipan’, which returns to the piano, with the carefully picked notes echoing softly into a palpably airy atmosphere. Caroline Polachek (formerly of Chairlift and a fellow Pole) sings operatically into this space, magnetically reciting a Polish lullaby about a king, princess, and page who all end up devouring one another. Again, more could be read into this choice of inspiration and how the moral of the story relates to felicita’s own personality – or you could just enjoy it as a beautifully stark piece of music.

In this year alone we have heard many great experimental electronic albums that explore personality and self from the likes of SOPHIE, Lotic and Rival Consoles, and felicita’s hej! certainly belongs to be mentioned in the same regard. It’s an album that shows the past and the future of this artist, and it’s one that seems to have boundaries well beyond the usual fare that we hear from PC Music. However, this is still a perfect platform for his music at this stage, and it will guarantee him a certain audience that will find plenty to enjoy in the mind-bending, shrieking and expansive productions here.