The Mosaic Of Transformation is the eighth album by Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith. The composer and musician is a big hit around these parts, i.e. Norman Records. Her 2016 album Ears was awarded the coveted Norman Records Album of the Years and it’s follow-up, The Kid, received a 9/10 review from our Laurie. This time out, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith has written and ode to electricity. Our hopes are high.
Vinyl LP £20.49 GI356LP
Black vinyl LP on Ghostly. Comes in a matte laminate outer jacket, with uncoated printed inner sleeves, and 6”x8” printed card.
- Only 1 copy left
Limited Vinyl LP £19.49 GI356LPC1
Limited edition transparent vinyl LP on Ghostly. Comes in a matte laminate outer jacket, with uncoated printed inner sleeves, and 6”x8” printed card.
- Coloured vinyl
- Limited edition
CD £12.99 GI356CD
CD on Ghostly.
As the final notes of Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith’s ‘The Mosaic Of Transformation’ wound down, a storm, which had been threatening to break all week, finally came. Fat drops of rain hit the ground outside my window, falling relatively in time with Smith’s burbling Buchla synths. Though of course this was all pure coincidence, the release of tension in the air felt like the right thing to happen at the end of this verdant record.
Smith’s music is utopian in its idiosyncrasies, outsider art that wants you to join it on the outside. The Orcas Island composer is often talked about in relation to synthesiser music luminaries like Laurie Spiegel and Terry Riley, but there is also plenty about ‘The Mosaic Of Transformation’ which pulls from practitioners at the fringe of this history. Midori Takada and Jon Hassell can both be felt in the stately aquatic lilt of ‘Remembering’; the third-way loft music of Arthur Russell and Peter Zummo comes through in the album’s hovering synthetic strings; beat-driven numbers like ‘The Steady Heart’, where Smith’s vocals cluster and warp in air, hark back to what High Places and Animal Collective were doing in the late-00s, albeit with focus shifted more towards sonics than songcraft.
Smith released an album last year called ‘Tides: Music for Meditation and Yoga’, and there is certainly something new age-adjacent about ‘The Mosaic Of Transformation’. That said, the album also features tones which, if they don’t quite disturb, then certainly prickle the reverie of these Buchlascapes. Uneven electronic quakings at the beginning of ‘The Steady Heart’ are captured and disciplined into exciting bursts of energy, while on ‘Carrying Gravity’ some of the synths have a slightly piercing quality which causes them to jut out of the ambiences.
These discordant elements mean that, rather than slipping into the realm of discrete music, ‘The Mosaic Of Transformation’ maintains a productive dialogue with the listener throughout. They give you the sense that Smith is trying to convey that the world is full of energies, good and bad - it is up to us to spin them into something affirming, as she herself has done on this excellent album.
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