Various Artists – Art of the Muses

artists: Various
title: Art of the Muses
keywords: electronic african asia asian east asia electronic electronica experimental musique concrete noise south east asia syrphe women
label: Syrphe

“An experimental music compilation featuring ten female composers from far east Asia (Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan & China).”

The compilation starts with something that is the essence of experimentation with minimal needs. In ‘the world’s top destinations for diving and skydiving’ artist Alice Hui-Sheng Chang uses her voice to screech out and seemingly create the sounds that you would expect to hear when speed-driving around corners while also having your feet pressing the brake. Considering the title it might also be an expression of people jumping of a high cliff (into water below?) as they yell from excitement.

Next up is Aki Ito (ft. Julien Chatellier) with a track named Slowness. It’s like a lonely party and you are the only one available guest. A single party whistle sounds lonely on top of a wealthy hypnotic warm loop. It’s very short, but perfectly heating up the scene for the next work.

This one is Dabao by Itta which is a moment that is speaking to the imagination. Are they full balloons that are empty their air in music ways, or are the things captured in this recording a club of goose directed by a successful animal whisperer / conductor? Or perhaps the artist had invented a brand new instrument for this occasion that sound like intelligent gooses? I think this is pretty mind boggling and in that way also pretty interesting.

Next one on the compilation is Mylapore by Tomoko Sauvage which comes across as the sound of plates and cutlery: I imagine them hanging attached with fine fish lines suspended in the air in a new kind of art installation. The result is giving a cozy eatery atmosphere in which subtle mellow tones slip through for extra coziness.

Kismett’s Snake-rope sublation is from the very begin to all the way to the end pretty much a beauty. The main cause is it sweet ambience, warn and loving basis that covers an experimental electric rattlesnake of sound on top that even though being very brutal an prominent, is so nicely draped on the ambience that it’s more amusing than harmful, creating some kind of excitement that could be viewed as looking at a dangerous creature from the safe side of the glass.

Then there is Vavabond‘s Shadow of iron, a nice crispery industrial work that feels like listening to a one person’s homemade factory of handicraft. I imagine a system with wool, automatic paper cutters, spinning wheels, rattling peddles in a room that never seems to stop its business; the sound of creation.

Om of the tree by Pei is taking a humbling dream like path, sweetly setting nice sound manipulation in the ears that feel like the soundtrack for a warm and lush dream. A place that makes the sound of crickets in the garden seem annoying as it makes me think that it would be much nicer to hear them performing music like ‘Om of the tree’ here instead. It’s superbly hypnotic, warn and friendly; nicely taking the listener away from reality into a safe place made out of pleasant dreams. I don’t know about you but I love this so much, I wish it never ended!

Alice Hui-Sheng Chang returns with more of her experimental mental vocal work named ‘The sun descends the room darkens’. She will puts on soft humbling tones in combination with more in your face material and emptiness. It’s pretty expressionistic in a way I’ve not had come across. It feels like an ancient act, something that makes Yoko Ono’s art performances look mainstream; the sound of unknown culture and talent.

Raindrop excercise by Tomoko Sauvage is superb! I don’t know if you have experienced living in Asia with a leaking roof (I’m living the dream people!) but imagine that after the rain is gone the drops still drop down in the harmonic pots and pans below (successfully aimed to capture these drops from wetting the floor and to make harmonic music along the way. This is how this track comes across and it’s beautiful, cozy and probably the closest of music collaboration between human and nature.

Aki Ito’s Harmonicswave 02 is a very short sounding form of excitement, it’s like a child who is happy and wild for something that we don’t really know.? A expressionistic sugar rush!

Next is Verita Shalavita Koapaha with her ‘Kemrungsung’ composition that might be played on a violin or perhaps a cello. I couldn’t tell as the music simply brought me into some kind of trip trance in which all I saw was pretty landscapes, a smiling sun, fields of grain, a laid back village and its inhabitants; it simply brought music that easily took me away. Will you join me?

Lương Huệ Trinh comes with the lengthiest work on this compilation. It is named ‘Somnambulism’ and takes us on a journey with multiple in between a and only one destination. Sweet recordings, elaborate electronics, darkness with heavy bass and spooky sounds, back to warner places in which the artist walks us with a fun brushy rhythm to form some kind of parade with minds in mushy mushrooms. This is a soundscape that is like going down through the rabbit hole in order to explore a world of the unknown.

Lau Mun Leng takes the honor to safely end this compilation with her track named ‘The rustle of paper’ which is a title that exactly tells you what to hear within. It makes you respect paper a bit more, and when it disappears you would just want to play and hear it again. In fact while you are at it; the whole compilation is ready for another spin.
It’s a fine collection, and even though these women come from different countries and create different experiments in music form, they do sound very much together! Check it out at the following link:

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