ELIF YALVAÇ – CloudScapes


Getting to learn the grounds of Turkish electronic composer Elif Yalvaç’s first release is essential to understand its intimate nature. The EP’s title offers a hidden clue of sorts, as Yalvaç – frequently trapped in Istanbul’s traffic – is a woman who takes inspiration from the sky to avoid the inevitable stress. So, with a little fantasy, one could even reverse the factors and translate the name into “escaping through clouds”. Then again, cloud formations are also a source of compositional shapes if observed in the right frame of mind. And I know from experience that a deep connection exists between personal sorrow and daily travel.

All these components were meshed by the discerning ears of someone able to overcome a technical limit – namely, an old laptop – to distil six pieces that can stand proud amidst the currents and tides of analogous releases, with few minor uncertainties but at least a pair of genuinely splendid tracks (“Nacreous” and, especially, “Mammatus”), plus a hint to more dissonant stratifications (“Pyrocumulus”). This matter is gaseous, yet replete with tiny tangible details. Its evocative qualities are typified by the shades that render a summer sunset a glorious sight. It is not a hymn to shallow happiness, but often transmits a sense of serenity inside the grieving. CloudScapes is an encouraging example of accessible yet mature computer music, a sensible combination of processed samples and synthesis offering a wealth of alluring resonances and mysteriously gliding drones. Most of all, it slows your heartbeat until a timid “smile within” finally appears.

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