ANJI CHEUNG – Spirit As Creature


The agnostic chronicler is finding Keith Utech’s imprint growingly useful for supplying releases whose trance/depth ratio is consistent with the reduction of the cold rationalism which – at an alarming rate – is putting the aforementioned writer at risk of becoming overly venomous.

Thus, amidst faces we would not wish to see anymore and mental training for the umpteenth helping of pitiful esoteric hypocrisy – not to mention the falsity of today’s elected heroes – the first meeting with the music of Anji Cheung is warmly greeted.

Cheung – from what I could gather – appears to be a strict observer of the “electronics on a table” ceremonial. Cables and mixing boards, knobs, focused attitude. No concessions to fashion, no sensual moaning in a microphone, no posing to be considered a sexy icon (you know what we mean, and if you don’t know no worry: what’s important is that we know).

Two tracks, about 30 minutes overall. The sources may vary; one can’t be entirely sure if altered samples inhabit the neighborhood and, though we suspect that the answer is yes, the mind and the ears are often easy targets for acoustic illusions. Stretched bells? Didgeridoos? Who knows? And, ultimately, who cares?

The apparently monotonous undulations of “A Return To The Innermost” hide hundreds of shifts, both in frequency and textural grain. Certain sections are more “violent” than others, but only in spirit (no pun with the album’s title intended). Reverberation is applied with a good degree of exactitude, so that among the monolithic resonance of the harmonics we can still detect how the meshed/processed pitches (or ghosts thereof) swim inside a stream of organic magnetism and other invisible substances.

In the final chunk of “Visions Of Excess” the addition of a thumping pulse makes the whole transcend towards out-and-out shamanism, light years distant from cheesy post-industrial skronk. The inherent hum, the growing tension, the charged drones assure the listener that Cheung really means it. She’s not here to waste our time, but to genuinely involve us in her travels across inscrutability.

With Spirit As Creature, she succeeded without ifs and buts. Play loud for maximum internal quivering. There’s no such thing as fear.

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