PURR 0032: Sawi Lieu – ‘Pasaraya’
Sawi Lieu is one of a new crop of experimental artists hailing from Jakarta that are beginning to gain notice in international communities. With Pasaraya, Lieu takes listeners on a nostalgic journey through neon arcades and sonic macro malls. Snaking beats and vibrant synths slink through murky alleyways, sounds and smells emanating from behind a concrete curtain that hint at an alternate universe, subsumed within the virtual. Over the course of 68 minutes, Lieu plays many different hands, though. Bright, aqueous techno consumes the folds of “Subjectless World” while the zoned-out electronics of “Familiar Landscape” and “Layar Maya” are an aural opiate, soothing to frayed nerves. Every track offers something new and different. Pasaraya is the memory of growing up in Jakarta’s busy streets, and whatever dissonance that conjures, Lieu’s vision is an astonishingly beautiful place to let yourself go.
PURR 0033: Aloonaluna/Motion Sickness of Time Travel
Lynn Fister has had an incredible 2013 so far and still just seems to be getting started, expanding her unique collaborative vision of sound and visual art. Following a stellar releases on Hooker Vision and Cosmic Winnetou, Fister is pushing herself into new realms on her half of this split with the even more prolific Rachel Evans of Motion Sickness of Time Travel. “Apnea Method” finds heavy, glitched edits pulsing along while her ghostly vocals echo into oblivion, presaging a centrality for her voice that is upheld on centerpiece track, “Stutter-Sleep Dance,” with its unusual rhythm and capable deconstruction of contemporary dance trends. Aloonaluna closes things off with the relic that is “Shifty Eyes,” like a dusty voodoo artifact unearthed in the swamps of Louisiana, before a flip-of-the-tape conjures Evans’ contribution. The three track song sequence that composes her half of the split is more broadly thematic than Fisters, sounding much as Pitchfork described it, like the “trailing echo of a church choir,” or a mid-point in the swell of real and fabricated voices associated with formalworship. Their character of reverance splits the tape along lines of orientation, setting Fister’s apprehended experiments to play against Evans’ earnest engagement with form.
PURR 0034: White Poppy – ‘Drifters Gold’
White Poppy is Crystal Dorval, a multimedia artist based on the west Coast of Canada, where she makes experimental and self-described “therapeutic” pop. Drifter’s Gold was prepared in anticipation of an LP to follow this August on Not Not Fun. Named for Don Blanding’s poems inspired by the beauty of Hawaii, Drifter’s Gold will almost certainly live up to the mantle of “therapy” for anyone kindly drugged by soothing string-playing and hazy vocals into its blissful, precociously decorated ambient swells. Though many of the songs take their inspiration from everyday life and the sadness of inner confusion, all were deliberately crafted to address Dorval’s own fixation with the seasons and their influence on the temper of her recordings. Easily building on the very perceptable influence of Blanding’s Hawaii, Drifter’s Gold may just be the ideal hedge against the summer doldrums during this year’s hotter months.