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Anna Zaradny, "Go Go Theurgy"

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cover imageGo Go Theurgy is Polish composer Anna Zaradny's first album in eight years, following 2008's Mauve Cycles.  Like that release, there is a significant amount of experimentation and abstraction to be heard on this record's two side long composition, yet for all its dissonance there is clearly order here.  Order that takes the form of deconstructing and rebuilding more conventional pop and electronic music elements into completely unique contexts. It is challenging but captivating all the same.

 

Musica Genera/Bocian Records

The opening moments of "Theurgy One" are rather sparse, considering what is to come.  What is first a sequenced pattern of synthesized tones is soon engulfed by buzzing, machinery like drones that add a distinct darkness.  One of the striking things that is immediately noticeable about Zaradny's work is its complexity, and her use of multiple, yet complementary layers of sound that give an impressive depth, while still retaining a coherent structure.

Electronic pulses soon pop up that mimic something that could appear on a standard techno record, but within this factory-like ambience, they have a character all their own.  Mangled synthesizer leads appear to quickly transitions into sweeping, symphonic drama and back again.  Amidst these bent tones and idiosyncratic sequences is an expanse of warm crackles and textures, making for an avant garde lead-in to a more conventional, pulsating techno conclusion.

The other half, "Theurgy Two," picks up where its predecessor left off.  The opening moments have a more structured, sequenced sound to them, but the same bizarre, dissonant quality to the sound overall that is idiosyncratic to say the least.  Her intentional use of rigid, dance-music like repetition with these sounds results in a sort of abrasive, slightly grating sound that eventually relents to showcase droning tones and clicking textures.

As the composition moves on, Zaradny introduces nasal, buzzing synthesizers that resemble a modern take on 1970s sci fi soundtrack schlock with droning, drill like vibrations and harsher passages of electronics.  But even within these more dissonant sounding moments, she creates some distinctly glorious, beautiful moments of rich drama, sweeping electronic passages that are completely enrapturing.  The work culminates into a rich, complex, and nuanced nod to composition that ends the record on a delicate, calm note.

Anna Zaradny's work on Go Go Theurgy shines most clearly in her clever use of elements associated with more conventional music, such as sequenced synthesizers and rhythmic passages, but employed in such a way that they bear little superficial resemblance to what would be expected.  Instead they function on an almost subliminal level, drawing me into a sonic world that is utterly unique, bizarre, and fascinating for its entire duration.

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Last Updated on Sunday, 17 July 2016 20:31  


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