Evicshen: Hair Birth (American Dreams, 2020)

July 21, 2020 at 6:53 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Evicshen: Hair Birth

I’m only reviewing a digital promo of this, but the now sold-out special edition included a speaker cover, in the form of a coil which plays when connected to an amplifier and placed in front of a magnet. (A few of the covers are still available, but without an amp). The artist, Victoria Shen, used to work for Jessica Rylan’s Flower Electronics, and she created the LP by recording Buchla 100 and Serge modular synths at Harvard, then editing the recordings together. The results are crafted like academic electronic compositions, but sound as visceral as a junky basement noise session. “Under the Stall Door” is 8 minutes of righteous thrashing which occasionally erupts into high-pitched screeing feedback, then plunges back into low rumbling and quaking or harsh crushing. “Funhouse Mirror Stage” scrambles glitchy modular tones and dissolves them in molten lava, while “Lissjous” seems to imply a brittle, trampled-over rhythm. “Fever Pitch” is fizzier, and even closer to a stammering, frenzied rhythm. The whole album just sounds so LIVE, even though it’s the result of countless hours of studio sessions, and I hope I get the opportunity to see this artist perform someday.

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