Skip to main content

Featured Post

Amazon to start its biggest Black Friday sale yet on 16 November

Amazon's Black Friday Sale 2018 is to be its biggest yet, running from 16 November to the 25th. Here's what you need to know.
Amazon is all set for its biggest Black Friday sale yet with ten days of discounts on electronics, toys, games, fashion, beauty and home products. Black Friday deals begin 16 November and end on the 25th.

Cruel Diagonals - Disambiguation Music Album Reviews

On her debut album as Cruel Diagonals, the Oakland experimental musician Megan Mitchell turns samples sourced from ethnomusicological archives into ambient music that’s both expressive and empathetic.

The title of Megan Mitchell’s debut album as Cruel Diagonals seems ironic at first. Disambiguation suggests a process of clarification, yet Mitchell’s music is full of mystery. Her songs often retreat, with sounds fading soon after they emerge, and silence always threatening to overtake her atmospheres. It’s tough to make out the words in her shadowy, disembodied singing, if there are words there at all. Her track titles acknowledge all this in terms such as “oblique,” “vague,” and “liminal.”

Yet in one crucial respect, Disambiguation is loud and clear. That’s Mitchell’s use of bold, distinct beats. Nearly every track centers on a prodding pulse, providing skeletons for other sounds to float around like a ghost’s billowing sheet. To make those sounds, Mitchell used field recordings and samples from the ethnomusicology archives at the University of Washington, where she studied Library and Information Sciences. As a result, her rhythms seem to arise from the depths of nature. It’s as if you can hear wisps of history inside their spellbinding echoes.

Because Mitchell’s beats are so strong and willful, they give Disambiguation a lot of force. Everything moves forward deliberately, and soon enough all the sonic obscurity becomes a tool with which to express emotion and build ambience, instead of a cloak to hide behind. Rather than pushing you away, her subtle music beckons you to come closer. Naturally, there is some loneliness and even desolation emanating from her restrained approach, but there’s also a lot of empathy. The feeling of solitude she creates is honest in a way that can make you feel less alone.

Disambiguation’s enveloping moods develop gradually. On the best Cruel Diagonals tracks, Mitchell starts slowly, establishing an aura before infusing it with a rhythmic arc. On “Oblique Ritual,” long tones make room for a minimal beat, which eventually rises to meet Mitchell’s vocal hums. A far-off drone gradually works its way into focus on “Render Arcane” before transferring momentum to the kind of chiming repetition often associated with Steve Reich’s loops. Mitchell can also hit the ground running: “Enmeshed” begins with a bounding rhythm that’s soon echoed in her foggy moans, which are so haunting it sounds as if it she recorded them during a previous lifetime.

Mitchell’s sonic environment evokes some other dark electronic music (particularly the murky concoctions of Demdike Stare), but mostly it feels singular. The danger in building such a unique sound world is the possibility of stripping the archives she samples of their original cultural contexts. But she treats all of her sounds with such care and thought (much like her direction of Many Many Women, an index of women and non-binary sound artists) that her process of reworking respects her sources rather than exploiting them. The result is music that’s both sonically and thematically inclusive. By the end of Disambiguation, what’s left isn’t so much an impression of Mitchell’s own identity as her ability to meld it into something bigger than herself.

View the original article here


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Popular posts from this blog

Oppo RX17 Pro Review: Hands-on

We had time with Oppo’s new RX17 Pro. It may be blue and purple but how different is it to the similar OnePlus 6T and is it worth your time?
Should I Buy The Oppo RX17 Pro?
Oppo has made a solid mid-range phone in the RX17 Pro. Build quality is premium, fast charging is industry-best fast and the display is of high quality.But the price is high at 599€ considering the OnePlus 6T with a better processor starts at £499/€529. And while functioning as it’s supposed to, ColorOS is still unrefined for the western market with far too many changes to Android to recommend over competitors.

LG G5 Review In-Depth

Can LG take on the Galaxy S7 with a metal design, dual-cameras and an accessory slot? Here's our first LG G5 review, focusing on LG G5 design and build, LG G5 specs, LG G5 cameras and LG G5 software and apps.
Alongside the Galaxy S7, the LG G5 is one of the biggest phones (not literally) to launch in 2016 – and we're not just talking in the Android world. It's one of the heavyweights and LG will be looking to set the market alight with the G5's alternative and innovative modular design.

BlackBerry KEYone Review

BlackBerry soliders on with a curious Android device that gets nearly everything right. It’s not for everyone though, in fact, it’s not really for anyone. But if you want a physical keyboard you will absolutely love it.
Should I Buy The BlackBerry KEYone?
But then, the KEYone is the best BlackBerry phone for years. It has (finally) successfully melded classic BlackBerry design with the necessary mix of Android and nostalgia. Importantly, the latter is only faint this time – this is a device for 2017, not 2007.If you love your iPhone or Samsung, you’ll hate the KEYone and won’t even consider buying it. But if you’ve made it to the end of this review, chances are you’re weighing up a buy. If you think you’ll love the BlackBerry KEYone, then I’m pretty certain you won’t be disappointed. You’re part of a minority, but finally BlackBerry has a phone for you that doesn’t force you to compromise.

Google Pixel Review

Not everyone wants a phone with a big screen, but most small-screen phones compromise on performance and cameras. Not so with Google’s latest flagship Android phone: Here’s our Google Pixel review.
Joining the ranks of the Pixel C and Chromebook Pixel are Google’s new Pixel phones. We’re reviewing the smaller 5in Pixel here, but you can read our separate Pixel XL review if you’re after a bigger phone.

Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 Review

Is there more to the Surface Laptop 2 than a lick of black paint? Find out in our full review.
Should I Buy The Microsoft Surface Laptop 2? The Surface Laptop 2 is a slightly odd one as it's not a huge upgrade on the original. That said, it comes in at the same price with a few upgrades and the new black colour.You get an 8th-gen Intel processor giving a nice performance boost as well as double the memory for the entry-level model. Battery life is a little down in our test but it's still a decent effort making this still one of the best laptop around.

Like Fan Page