MAJA SPASOVA – Maja Af Svea

Olof Bright

This double CD was received a good while back – at least two years – yet this is a typical illustration of the main reason behind Touching Extremes’ existence, namely shedding some light – even a posteriori – to interesting releases that might have fallen through the cracks of public indifference when they appeared (now, this is what I call smart justifications for perennial delays). Spasova is a Bulgarian multimedia artist who established herself in Sweden in 1984, culpably ignored by yours truly until today. She has achieved quite a lot in the field of urban installation – a few of them are described in the exhaustive liners by label honcho Thomas Milroth, the rest can be acknowledged via a healthy dose of googling. In particular, her interest resides in the essential core of human expression, the “earliest reaction”, the utterances, you get the point. Entire sonic edifices are constructed on the juxtaposition and studio treatment of these very constituents, from the initial “Mama” – a literal audio quilt born from the first word we all have learnt to pronounce (in my case, after “Zappa” – just kidding) – to the occasionally sinister “Alpha & Omega”, also voice-based but with a definite threatening character that places the piece near the darkish fringes of ritual industrialism (including horrible techno versions – they’re short, so never mind). Another fascinating episode is “Portrait Gallery”, a multitude of individuals from various parts of the world repeating their names in an involving acoustic patchwork. The only non-working track is the self-explanatory “Tower Of Laughter”, a tired idea carried out with excessive strain by the participants (clearly pre-instructed, thus sounding unnatural). A second disc contains over 30 minutes of remixes of Spasova’s music by Andrea Neumann (her austerely rarefied translation of “Mama” is magnificent), Per Svensson, Mats Gustafsson (devastatingly skronking stuff), Adriano Theel and – the overall funniest in its melodically alien preposterousness – Hans Appelqvist.

Posted in Uncategorized