Wide Ear

Keeping herself at safe distance from the acute hysteria that afflicts so many female interpreters of fringe vocalism, Dalia Donadio embeds fragments of poems – sung in German – inside Linda Vogel’s nimble spontaneity on the harp’s strings, spicing the results with abstract ululations and fragile guttural noises. These young artists utilize electronics to enhance the fruits born from the work of throat and fingers; an exquisite listenability is achieved without depriving the music of profundity. However, it’s the slightly dissonant acoustic temperament of their evolutions that makes the bulk of this record fascinating, notwithstanding the absence of truly innovative inflections.

Ich Als Du presents songs (of the refined variety), games of clustery resonances, haunting environments centered around loops and stretched reverberations. Schwalbe & Elefant are not afraid of showing the nakedness of their intuitions: risking to appear naive to the callous listener, they slowly but surely carve a little niche of strange lyricism in the heart of those who want to go beyond a superficial glance. Both Donadio and Vogel privilege a refreshingly no-frills approach founded on the intelligent decision of not remaining in the same territory for more than a few minutes. Echoes of Nico and Fovea Hex circled over our head during the playback, and I’m sure that even the aficionados of certain “advanced” areas of British folk might find something to cherish. Do not translate this as influence, though, for this debut album is encouragingly unique in its earnest frugality.

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