kind words for marta smilga, jelena glazova, tay_ploops, lola de la mata, nhung nguyen, anna xambó, and bella!

the extended kindness comes from closer listen. read the whole thing there!

Many labels make an effort to raise the profile of female electronic musicians, but pan y rosa discos goes all out. Of their fifteen releases so far this year, eight are by women. Their music demonstrates an incredible variety of styles and is drawn from a wide variety of countries…

When listening to the first few seconds of attractive synthesis by Latvia’s Līga Smirnova, one thinks, “oh, it’s just another club-based synth track.” But listen just a little longer, and all preconceptions will be destroyed…

Jelena Glazova may be another Latvian artist, but her approach is vastly different from that of her labelmate. Relying on heavily processed voice, Glazova creates soundscapes that flutter and pop without providing any hint of their human genesis…

The script flips again with tay_ploops (Jessica Gabriel). The Vancouver-based artist also uses voice, but her voice is recognizable throughout, delving into poetry, fragment, onomatopoeia, and all manner of stutter and loop. spool oops is a fun album, as one might expect from the title, as well as by some of Gabriel’s other careers (puppeteer, clown)…

Shifting gears once again, we encounter the work of London’s Lola de la Mata, an impossible to categorize artist whose work demonstrates incredible intelligence and complexity. de la Mata’s main interest is the kinesthetic nature of the body in relation to movement and sound. Her work has often been used in dance performances, as the nuances of her compositions lend themselves well to creative interpretations. In Remise en Bouche (Palate Cleanser), one can hear percussive breath and snapshots of song, along with static and feedback, trains and bells, violin and voice…

Vietnam’s Nhung Nguyen (Sound Awakener) offers an intriguing combination of static and chime on the 12-minute single piece Oblivion. The drone influence is apparent along with the “drifting, falling” feel of ambience, justifying the description of the work as “calm, meditative, chaotic and noisy.” While listening, one feels the tug between peace and activity, retreat and forward surge, work and play, regret and letting go…

Those listening to these releases in order may flinch when they reach Anna Xambó‘s H2RI, a collection of twenty one-minute tracks rife with feedback and noise. The album would make a great alarm clock. But there is also pattern in noise: frequency, repetition, dynamic contrast, give-and-take…

The latest label release comes from Brazilian artist Bella, and captures a live half-hour performance inspired by water and light. The piece, titled UN, is as dark as the unmapped fathoms, where furtive movement is often imperceptible and creatures create their own illumination. One can imagine this piece filling the performance space with reverberation, sound waves bouncing off walls and traveling through bodies…

pan y rosas release H2RI by anna xambó!

anna xambó is a researcher and musician with a background in computer science engineering, digital humanities and digital arts. she completed her phd in 2015 (the open university), specializing in music computing and HCI, and is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the centre for digital music (queen mary university of london).

her musical practice includes live coding, multichannel spatialization, tangible music, collaborative interfaces, audience participation with mobile devices, and real-time music information retrieval. she has performed internationally and works actively in the music tech and experimental electronic music scene, as a co-founder of the online music records carpal tunnel in barcelona (spain), co-founder of women in music tech at georgia tech (usa), and co-organizer of international concerts.

H2RI is an instance of a generative album created by anna xambó in 2018. the 20 tracks of 1′ each have been generated using her self-built tool MIRLC, a library for using music information retrieval techniques in live coding. a basic rule has shaped the audio sources of the album: to only use of short sounds from the crowd-sourced, online, sound database freesound. each track is complemented with the code in SuperCollider and the attribution to the authors of the original sounds.

get the album here!