2015 : Self-Released
Format : Cassette
While listening to the always delightful Norelco Mori podcast a few episodes ago, I was mesmerized by a Brooklyn, NY artist I knew nothing of. I kept replaying the track that opened the show, “A Dream of Rain On A Coastal Town” over and over. Being the obsessive/compulsive music collector with a voracious appetite for new sounds, I ordered it immediately.
I’ve written many times about my tendency to buy-listen-catalog-move on. Whether it’s borderline hoarder personality or bad potty training, it is who I am, much to my wife’s dismay. However, there are those occasionally bright spots that stop me in my tracks, those releases, that for most part seem to go unnoticed, that become my addiction. This little EP is one. Honestly, I play this tape three or four times a week, usually on repeat for an hour or so.
Using vintage analog synths, but managing to steer clear of any kind of “retro” pitfalls, Faten creates a delicate, graceful score to an imaginary film. The EP begins with “Planet 898/Circle Is Drawn”, an etherial instrumental gives way to Kanaan lilting vocals. There’s a shyness to her delivery that fits perfect with the subtle harmonies. Next is the epic sadness of “Santo Sospir”, soaring above jagged, snow covered peaks and gliding raven-winged through the forested valley below, it’s my favorite track to the Tolkien film in my mind.
Side B opens with the above mentioned “Dream of Rain On A Coastal Town”. Darker and more ominous than anything else on the release, it was the one that struck a chord with me to begin with. The menacing synth, heavily treated vocals and scant rhythmic track give the track the vibe of some grim, occult hymn. Closing out the tape is “Shadow”. Brilliantly harnessing the yin and yang of the release, the mournful synth accompanied by Kanaan’s profound, celestial voice.
In this rapid-fire world where we’re constantly bombarded with information, rarely meeting the eyes of our fellow travelers. A quick glance in any direction exposes us only to a sea of bowed heads. Technology may have made the world smaller, but it’s also created more walls. There’s a sacredness about truly beautiful music that makes me want to say, “Stop, listen to this”. This is one of those rare one, and a crime if it goes unnoticed in the tidal wave of mediocre noise that plagues the electronic superhighway.
Limited to just 100 copies, but also available digitally via Bandcamp.
All photos © Lena Shkoda and used by permission.