Album Review: Blank Slate of Mind by Lincka

Lincka’s Blank Slate of Mind is a multicultural, genre-bending tour de force breaking open a new world of art and togetherness.

A message from the Make Oklahoma Weirder team: this article was originally written by Evan Jarvicks in 2019 and is being released as part of MOW’s “VVeirder VVinter Vault” of 2023.

Blank Slate of Mind is not exactly an EP. According to local Latin icon Lincka, it’s a “mini-album.” While its six tracks fit the description of an extended play release in a practical sense, it’s understandable for artists to want to break away from industry conventions. Music is one of the most free, unbound things in existence. Why constrict it with definition?

Well, there’s an answer to that. Many music journalists, for instance, don’t employ genre categories because they want to, but because they have to. Humans in society require a more concrete method of communication than music alone can provide. There’s a flip side to this, though. In the broadest terms, music is language, and language is music. One just has to have the ear to notice it – an ear like Lincka’s.

Oklahoma “Chicana Pop” artist Lincka

Oklahoma City’s biggest and best bilingual artist continues to turn heads with Blank Slate of Mind, a multicultural tour de force that gleefully blurs the lines between styles but not the styles themselves. Hip-hop, surf, disco, funk, DJ, lounge, calypso, house, and rock music are all highlighted as they weave into the album’s one-of-a-kind Latin sound.

Producer Rat F!nk is unmistakably at the soundboard once again, and this may be his finest work yet. His palette is more diverse than ever, yet he shows some restraint by channeling it into different pools of comingling. Perhaps having a longer runtime than usual (prior Lincka releases never surpassed three tracks) has given Rat F!nk the space needed to let his wild instincts breathe a bit more.

Meanwhile, Lincka’s vocals are more shapeshifting than ever. Even when her recordings are stripped of studio manipulations, one could plausibly mistake her for more than one person in some moments, and that’s not just because she performs in both English and Spanish. Her voice embodies an intuitive spread of characterizations. The album’s focus on language is more indirect than prior efforts, curbing an overt message in favor of exploring dialect as a musical theme. With the fittingly titled Blank Slate of Mind, Lincka doesn’t have an agenda except to express herself freely. The Latin representation is intrinsic.

Lincka and company bring so much to the table here that it would take many subsequent paragraphs to touch every detail. Do people love “Sprinkle Your Love (Gotta Give It Up)” because it bops like A Tribe Called Quest’s “Can I Kick It”? Who’s behind the saxophone solo at the end of “1999”? Are those Super Mario 64 sound effects on “Chihiro Ogino”

Blank Slate of Mind is an album that hits big on first impressions and continues to offer more with each listen that follows. It shows what happens when creatives decide to throw out the rules and chart their own way. For Lincka, the destination is a beautiful new world of art, strength, and togetherness, eagerly waiting to be further explored.

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aka Jarvix, the Chief Executive Weirdo of Make Oklahoma Weirder. His out-of-the-box music coverage has been published by the Oklahoma Gazette, KOSU, and The Oklahoman among others. He also makes DIY music as a solo multi-instrumentalist live looper in his spare time.

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