Thursday, 14 June 2018

Lucrecia Dalt ‎– Anticlines (2018)

Style: Experimental
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Rvng Intl.

Tracklist:
01.   Edge
02.   Altra
03.   Tar
04.   Atmospheres Touch
05.   Errors Of Skin
06.   Analogue Mountains
07.   Axis Excess
08.   Indifferent Universe
09.   Concentric Nothings
10.   Hello Tanz
11.   Glass Brain
12.   Liminalidad
13.   Eclipsed Subject
14.   Antiform

Over the past decade, the albums of Colombian musician Lucrecia Dalt have moved steadily away from playfully experimental indie pop into increasingly deeper levels of abstraction. There was a marked shift between 2009’s tuneful Congost—released under a previous alias, the Sound of Lucrecia—and 2012’s murkier Commotus, whose abiding sense of mystery recalled Argentina’s Juana Molina. By 2013’s more electronic Syzygy, her songwriting began to feel like it was tracing the shape of overgrown ruins; melodies jutted to the surface only to be subsumed again in drifting synths and thickets of reverb. 
On Anticlines, her sixth album, the former geotechnical engineer’s metamorphosis is complete. Anticlines takes the scraped drones and ethereal tone clusters of 2015’s Ou and distills them into cryptic miniatures reminiscent of the spectral frequencies summoned decades ago by Daphne Oram, of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. The palette is suggestive of rubbed wineglass rims, faraway theremins, fields of crickets; it is punctuated by small, dissonant explosions of what might be guitar or a plaintive pump organ. Silence yawns: “Concentric Nothings” is fashioned out of what sounds like a quarter spinning to rest on the floor of a vast, empty chamber, while “Axis Excess” isolates a sound that could be stalactites dripping. The beats, when they occur, are slow, metallic pulses loosely rooted in coldwave and industrial music, though that link feels more like an accidental byproduct of her electronic tools than anything she might have intended. Nothing about Anticlines could be construed as a genre exercise. Quite the opposite: The album’s aesthetic is so singular that it feels like something she has dreamed into being. 
Anticlines would be fascinating enough had she left it at that: an exploration of strange, mercurial ambient music with a mind of its own. But what makes this a truly special record is its vocal dimension. A world away from her singing style on previous albums, Dalt’s performance here combines captivating spoken-word passages with subtle vocal processing that sounds like the product of a chromed larynx. Just six of the album’s 14 tracks foreground vocals, but they comprise the record’s emotional and conceptual core. Her lyrics draw upon the language of geoscience and quantum physics—“Glass Brain” nods to the Boltzmann brain paradox, the theory that the universe might be a self-aware system—to unpack metaphysical questions about the nature of being. Those queries double as ruminations on the poetics of boundaries and the limits of communication itself. “Could it be found in errors of skin/Could it be found in gardens of dust,” she asks in “Errors of Skin,” seeking the secret of existence in a concatenation of things (“masses of big,” “leanings of self,” “multiples of stupor”) whose curious grammar suggests the divine hand of an artificial intelligence. 
On the opening “Edge,” she speaks from the perspective of el Boraro, a mythological beast said to suck out his victims’ insides and then, blowing through a hole he has pierced in the tops of their skulls, fill them full of air and send them on their way. There’s so much going on here that it’s almost dizzying. There’s the clinical nature of her musing, which is something like the opposite of body horror (“What does the body want except to pass blood through tiny vessels and keep the whole shape intact?”). There’s the unmistakably erotic tenor of the way she enters her interlocutor, pressing against “the inside of your navel, the slippery side of your throat.” And then there’s the sound of her voice itself: a strange, zig-zagging sing-song at once reassuring and unsettling. 
There are hints of Laurie Anderson’s incantatory style in her measured tone, but Dalt’s diction is unique. Rushing and slowing unexpectedly, her voice moves like eddying floodwaters seeking a vacuum to fill. In the background, hard-panned clusters of tones sound more like pools of light than notes; a high whine could be air escaping from a leak. The album’s title refers to a kind of geological formation, but Anticlines has more in keeping with the properties of matter as it shifts from liquid to gas and back: It’s an album full of interstitial forms that flicker in between fixed states, and its magic lies in that liminal no-man’s-land.
Philip Sherburne / Pitchfork 

3 comments:

  1. Hello: With the usual (big, big) thanks for all this fantastic sonic material, just wanna say that, after the protocol and etc, the link on this post takes me to the following notice «Nothing found - The owner either removed the file or restricted acces, or there's a typo in the link». Is there something wrong with it? Thanks in advance

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello again: Link working! Muito obrigado pela sua atenção.

      Delete
  2. Can You upload the album "Syzygy", please? Thanks a lot.

    odradek

    ReplyDelete