Mira Calix - Absent Origin
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Mira Calix, the talented multi-disciplinary artist with work in sound design and electronica, a long history with Warp Records as well as having provided abstract scores to Julius Caesar and Coriolanus with The Royal Shakespeare Company. She approaches sound as a sculptor approaches a block of marble, capable of embracing chaos with an astute, form-finding vision. Her first full-length album in quite some time, absent origin sees Calix engaging with a new musical language, of which the sources are tantalisingly fuzzy - translating the visual techniques of collage into an auditory assemblage of fractured but rhythmic sounds and texture with nods to post punk and avant pop.
The lines between electronic and organic are continually blurred throughout. Finger-clicks and ghostly choral vocals trace out an alien rhythm on 'a mark of resistance', as strange, mouthy pops and squeaks mesh with jarring samples and synth lines in a cacophony of stimuli. The spirit of dance music animates the plethora of noises on the album, bringing to mind the household techno of Herbert via Schoenberg on the likes of 'nkosezane - for my daddy' and 'fundamental things'. The eschatological coda 'i'm in love with the end of the world' brings the album to an eerily sweet end of looping voices, as the 30-second sketch 'surrender' closes absent origin with a clinking thud.
Mira Calix's creativity knows no bounds, and absent origin proves yet again that she can surprise listeners whilst maintaining her own distinct sound.