Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith: Let’s Flip It Into Sound evaluate | John Lewis’s modern album of the month

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Tright here’s usually a whiff of joss sticks surrounding the music of Los Angeles-based composer Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith. Up to now she has made an LP of drones for yoga and meditation, a brand new age album that was premiered on the Calm app, and she or he’s even written a pocketbook referred to as Listening (full with playing cards that includes “listening workouts”).

However Smith can be a number one determine in modular synthesis. She studied composition and sound engineering at Berklee Faculty of Music, falling below the spell of Steve Reich, and later acquired an infinite Buchla synthesiser, utilizing it to make a number of solo albums of burbling electronica. She has additionally made a synth-pop idea album concerning the life cycle, recorded a duet together with her mentor Suzanne Ciani and one other collaboration with Hollywood composer Emile Mosseri.

Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith: Let’s Flip It Into Sound album cowl

Some tracks on this new album hark again to Smith’s earlier fascinations: Verify Your Translation, Pivot Sign and Then The Wind Got here draw from Reichian phased minimalism, however right here these glistening arpeggios are overlaid with heavenly, digitally harmonised vocals. Elsewhere the minimalism collides with poppy electronica and Afrobeat rhythms, as if tape footage from a dozen classes has been reduce into fragments and assembled at random. Tracks ceaselessly change tempo, key and temper, whereas discordant parts overlap.

The result’s usually just like one in every of Charles Ives’s polytonal items – however, the place Ives replicated the sound of, say, a brass band marching previous a church choir, Smith’s music usually appears like a dozen cell phone ringtones going off in a video video games arcade whereas a west African drum circle rehearse on the road exterior. Sometimes, this cacophony sounds chic.

Additionally out this month

Takuro Okada is a 29-year-old Japanese guitarist whose album Betsu No Jikan (Newhere Music/House Bathe Music/Bandcamp) begins with an indirect model of John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme, however it’s the trippy astral jazz of Alice Coltrane that dominates – an all-enveloping riot of low-volume percussion, quavering sax solos, rippling piano and woozy string devices. Sam Gendel, Carlos Niño and Jim O’Rourke visitor. Diamanda Galás is among the few modern artists whose music can really be described as gothic. Her newest, Damaged Gargoyles (Intravenal Sound Operations), is stuffed with strangled banshee wails, creaky medieval drones, darkish ritualistic utterances in German and horror-movie soundscapes which can be genuinely fairly terrifying. Montreal quintet Esmerine discover that liminal zone between post-rock and drone-based minimalism, and their Every part Was Perpetually Till It Was No Extra (Constellation) is dominated by beautiful, spartan melodies performed on strings and piano. Bruce Cawdron’s marimba is the star of Foxtails & Fireflies, whereas Brian Sanderson’s horns carry the haunting Fractals for Any Tonality.


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