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Originally a CD released on David Sylvian's Samadhisound label back in 2004, this is the first-ever vinyl edition of this beautifully haunting album. Akira Rabelais uses his self-built Argeïphontes Lyre software to recompose medieval choral pieces. The ancient source material has been respectfully handled by artist and computer, the overall effect is like boarding a time machine - hearing the past through the present. It's worth noting that to fit the audio onto a single LP, this is a new edit - a slightly truncated version of the CD - so don’t expect an exact reproduction of the original edition.
He begins subtly layering and looping the vocals to mesmerising effect - which is great in itself, but just when you begin to think this is kinda the records schtick, two thirds of the way through the A-side things take a dramatic turn and the real processing and reconstruction begins. The vocals transform into phantom like spectres that recall some of Trevor Wishart’s work with the human voice. But they never get as wild, settling into moving, gaseous soundscapes that hover in the air, as though a ghost has passed by and left an echoing trail in its a wake. A remnant that hangs like a continuous reminder of its presence.
10/10 Tajinder Customer review, 7th August 2017
This is one of those records which stops you in your tracks. Olde & Other worldly vocals float in passages that conjure images of another time, another place....elsewhere. The underlying delicate echos, reverbs, sound and field recordings, support the snipets of audio creating atmospheres that you can fall into. The story of Akira Rabelais finding these fragmented 1960's vocal parts of traditional accapella lament songs discarded reel-to-reel tapes is well documented, the most important aspect of this release is the sensitivity with which Rabelais has processeed and edited these vocal parts. He highlights there simple beauty, leaving room for the mind to fill in the spaces. I imagine this is what the spellbinding call of the siren (mermaid) would sound like.
It is worth listening to this recording originally released by David Sylvans Samadhi Sound label at least once in your lifetime
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