LP £16.99 FRKWYS06LP
Limited split LP on RVNG Int.
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- Frkwys Vol. 6 by Julianna Barwick & Ikue Mori
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Three flaky computers down and I finally get to review this bewitching Ikue Mori / Julianna Barwick collaboration. Recorded improvised-style for a month long residency at White Columns Gallery in New York, this takes the form of swooping new-age choral effect vocals underpinned with all manner of twittering android glitches, acrobatic chirruping and vintage progressive sound-art scrunch. My favourite piece is 'Rain & Shine at the Lotus Pond' which sounds like a manic electronic aviary being soothed by the heavenly voice of an ethereal princess. Barwick's vocals are very much of the Inca Ore/Fursaxa school but less witchy and creepy, more comforting. Not as ghostly and smudged as Liz Harris's either but you get the picture. Gorgeous tones from a champion vocal seductress!! The charming underlying racket is most fascinating too. This is not at all like the clattering free-jazz percussive racket with which Ikue made her name in such legends as DNA. What we have here is a highly experimental stew of spacious astronomic synthesis and subtle frequency manipulation which fires off at obtuse angles against the ever dream-like aura of the voice. This is probably one of the most interesting records to hit the shabby office hi-fi this week, it's a surprisingly relaxing and intimate listen, evolving deliciously over the course of the four pieces. This meeting of zen-like feminine minds is probably not going to be repeated any time soon and more than amply showcases their combined talents, creating new ambient shapes and soundscapes for an ever-hungry audience demanding something a little special and different.
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