Three years have elapsed – fast, one should add – from CloudScapes, Elif Yalvaç’s debut EP. This fact alone denotes a rather mature attitude, in that the Turkish composer didn’t feel the urge to quickly drench the web with additional materials like most people do nowadays. Instead she just kept scrutinizing the aether, painstakingly assembling sounds for L’Appel Du Vide while keeping up the equally hard work related to her extensive studies on electronic music. If that’s not clear enough, we’re talking about someone who is daring to probe depths not exactly reachable by everybody. To evolve as a human being via authentic sonic research requires a fertile ground to begin with; this woman certainly knows how to look after her farm.
This is a major step forward in Yalvaç’s capacity of evocation and intelligence in selecting the acoustic essences. Each track frames a different aural scene; meaningful resonance and skull-shaking pulse combine across the remote provinces of internal hearing. There’s no use in mentally linking the episodes, such is the high percentage of variations within the soundscape from a piece to another. Suffice to say that my initial reaction immediately shifted towards the “uh-oh, something serious is happening” region, and that the necessity to reiterate the listening experience several times afterwards materialized. This usually happens when substance is detected; there’s plenty of it in here. Excursions through the spheres of evolved dark ambient; awesome conclaves of galactic sonorities; near-unrecognizable field recordings; droning entities that hover and glide, at once disconcerting and lulling. Imagine a Tod Dockstader/Jeff Greinke/Keith Berry cross-pollination depicted by an artist who thinks, quivers, travels and feels with almost hurtful intensity. If the association caused a skeptical rejoinder in some of you, my counterpunch is an invitation to savor this outstanding proposal in isolation, possibly with adequate speakers.
As glorified names in the laptop area endlessly duplicate the same “sunset postcard” shallow song, and an expanding quantity of female musicians gets undeserved coverage and accolades in spite of the proven mediocrity of their output, Elif Yalvaç’s ears and mind are projected to the next level of perception. The place where anthropoid cheapness dressed in “unquestionable truth” clothing has no reason to exist.