The vast soundworld of Sarah Davachi expands a little further with All My Circles Run, her second LP of the year after the stunning modular portraits of Dominions. While that record continued to investigate Davachi's juxtaposition of straight-up tone drone and rippling, Radigue inspired movement, All My Circles Run sees her depart from modular synthesis for a record of instrumental experiments, with separate excursions taking place on strings, organ, piano and vocals. She's one of the best drone artists out there, both in practice and presentation, so dig on this, please.
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Wherein I scream “finally!” and skip across the room, record in hand, making a scene it is likely no one has ever made in the name of drone before. I have been waiting for many a moon for Students of Decay to bring us this new Sarah Davachi record, but it’s stayed in the hypothetical for reasons entirely out of their control. Between her previous, Radigue-influenced SoD edition ‘Baron’s Court’ and last year’s pastorally vintage ‘Dominions’, Davachi has become one of my all time favourite droners, making music that can bring the room you’re in to a standstill while busying the ears with detail.
And yet. On this record. She ditches the synth. Despite being a student and master of electronics, this record sees her playing alternative instruments, crafting respective pieces for strings, organ, piano and even the voice (performed by soprano Camille Hesketh). The instruments are bowed and, of course, stretched like a miracle, with the kissoff being that Radwan Ghazi Moumneh of Hotel2Tango (and his own Jerusalem In My Heart project) records the whole thing. What a drone team: through the whole record, they refuse to falter.
On her recent record for Important, we got to learn firsthand how good Davachi is at raising tension and extracting bliss from super subtle changes in dynamics, and here she continues to create tunes that rouse in volume -- “Strings” in particular is perfectly calibrated, while “Voice” offers the voice around varying levels of extremely, trembling with its distorted sound. The trembling layers are typically Davachi -- though they exist for different timbres, she once again manages to combine that feeling off blurred tranquility, of everything happening under and over a straight line.
It’s another honing of the craft for Davachi, is ‘All My Circles Run’, but it also shows her branching out into newer and darker presentations of her sound.
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