Peddlers of sequenced nursery rhymes think they’re educating audiences on the heavenly paradigms while studying new hairstyles for the next appearances. Then there’s someone like Victoria Keddie, probing the semantics of the unspeakable, searching for signifiers in the gaps between transmitted signals and receiving entities. Keddie identifies relevant vestiges of intelligent life by examining the position of contemporary human beings within a hyper-technological culture sodden with messages deprived of gist.
Referring to the sonic element of such research, Apsides is a full-length work enclosed in an alluringly designed limited edition USB key. The essential sources are voice and analogue electronics, integrating with a software developed by Keddie which traces the orbits of space debris. The acoustic substance thus obtained appears anything but waste to these ears; rare moments exist herein with sonorities comparable to other recordings of our knowledge. With a great deal of mental elasticity, I thought of Carl Stone for a few instants during the opening track “Chamber (40.7128° N, 74.0060° W)”, whereas the only slightly more conventional, but still captivating enough episode is “Vertigo (34.0522° N, 118.2437° W).”
Everything else is high-quality experimentation including unfathomable drones, distortions of psychoacoustic realities, tangible daydreams, shards of meaning far deeper than mere verbal description. In that sense, “Vates (60.1699° N, 24.9384° E)” and “Aves (60.4518° N, 22.2666° E)” are peaks for this writer. Rather ironically, this mostly non-figurative aural matter conveys scents of physical aliveness. As we believe ourselves to be “wandering” through abnormal resonant ramifications, a familiar impulse to know better is intrinsically reaffirmed. The necessity of a rational anatomization is what prompts in the conscious being the strenuous resistance to the macabre obviousness shoved into our throats on a daily basis. There’s no possibility of truly alternative choices for those not endowed with sufficient willpower, irremediably transfixed by second-hand mystic trumpery.
All things considered, this music displaces expectations while eliciting serious pondering. Where the bulk of humanity seems reassured by the blankness waving at them beyond their passive reception of fake news and abstruse “explanations”, Victoria Keddie proves that there’s an unexpected wealth of useful material to evolve some more. Or at least to try before finally throwing in the towel, leaving the field open to the depressing mediocrity that has taken over this world.