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Anna Meredith — Varmints (4th March, 2016)

Anna Meredith — Varmints (4th March, 2016)

        Anna Meredith — Varmints (4th March, 2016)  Anna Meredith — Varmints (4th March, 2016)♣°≡°♥   Anna Meredith je skladatelka, producentka a performerka akustické i elektronické hudby. Její zvuk je často popisován jako ‘maximalistický, nezařaditelný’, kde se rozkročila nad různými světy soudobého subtilního Avant–popu, elektroniky a experimentálního rocku. Předtím byla dvě desetiletí ve světě klasické hudby, kde se Anna setkávala s ‘hačačá’ lidmi, usazenými ve svých kostech, kteří byli přinejlepším zdvořilí, otevřeně pohrdaví v tom nejhorším případě. Tomu je konec. Otevírací manévr “Nautilus” je monstrózní a rychlá věc — nejprve fanfáry, pak míchání syntezátorů s akustickou instrumentací, 8–bitové questy, tempa s viscerálním a reálným cítěním, jako kdyby jste byli připoutáni k postrannímu vozíku své kosmické lodi, když plujete vesmírem. I když Meredith chtěla uniknout dusnějším konvencím koncertního sálu, “Varmints” neustále využívá každý kousek dynamického rozsahu tohoto prostoru, od basového aktu tance pro kopírování kroků hudby, přes trhavé pohyby v low–endu jakéhosi zvukového piercingu, až po hvězdné výšky. (Je důležité poukázat na to, že Anna nemíní opouštět svou stabilní práci jako skladatelky). V “Last Rose” Anna vzdychá se slovy “Všichni krásní společníci jsou vybledlí a jsou pryč”. Její ochranná známka jako aranžérky je intenzivně detailní maximalismus, ale se smyslem pro pop formulace, díky nimž udržuje věci v rozkmitaném stavu, jako před ní Max Tundra, nebo Battles na albu “Mirrored” s vysokým skóre 9.1. Umí překvapit: to se děje hned ve druhé “Taken”, kde zpívají muž a žena současně. Rozmanité spektrum klasických postupů Meredith, inspirované MRI skenery jako na BBC Proms (vedení pěti různorodých souborů spojených satelitní cestou) je slyšet po celé ploše alba, kde i zdaleka nejslabší “Scrimshaw” je luxusním kouskem zvukové mozaiky. Možná nejlepší věc následuje hned poté v “Something Helpful”, možná také “Dowager”. Spravedlivě uznávám, ona nemá žádný strach, je to nová dívka v mém pohybovém katalogu a píše tak, jakoby všechny její práce byly psané před komisí složenou ze jmen jako Steve Reich, David Byrne, Brian Eno a Terry Riley. Její první zcela nezávislý projekt ji odhalil jako jeden z nejinovativnějších mozků moderní britské hudby. Svou zřejmou teoretickou průpravu lehce nosí v pomyslné kabelce pro pocit jistoty, ale nikdy to nebrání v jejím extatickém pátrání po nových nápadech a podnětech. A “Varmints” je knockout — ten druh činnosti, který po dopadu způsobí, že vidíte tisíce kreslených hvězdiček. NESPORNĚ JEDNA Z NEJVIDITELNĚJŠÍCH AUTOREK BRITSKÉ AVANTGARDY. Album března.Location: London, UK
Album release: 4th March, 2016
Record Label: PIAS / Moshi Moshi
Style: Experimental
Duration:     47:34
Tracks:
01 Nautilus     5:31
02 Taken     4:50
03 Scrimshaw     4:44
04 Something Helpful     3:13
05 R–Type     4:43
06 Dowager     5:23
07 The Vapours     6:34
08 Honeyed Words     3:18
09 Last Rose     3:32
10 Shill     2:48
11 Blackfriars     2:58
Review
By Laura Snapes; March 7, 2016;  Score: 8.4
°≡°   On her debut single “Nautilus,” Anna Meredith sounded drunk on power and spoiling for a fight. The 2012 cut was the acclaimed Scottish composer’s first mainstream release after nearly two decades in the classical world, where her adventurous work often met with sedentary audiences who were polite at best, and openly contemptuous at worst. The track’s imperious brass fanfares, artillery–fire percussion, and earth–quaking bass seemed designed to pummel and intimidate listeners. The song was so monstrous in scale that the EP it helmed, Black Prince Fury, and 2013’s follow–up Jet Black Raider, trembled a bit in its wake, like going from a Jeff Koons or Louise Bourgeois sculpture to a roomful of sketches.
°≡°   The track won Meredith the response she was after, but her prospective debut album kept getting put on the back–burner in favor of paid commissions. Almost four years later, Varmints also opens with “Nautilus,” and actually lives up to its huge opening gambit. Meredith’s electronic work has often drawn from the soundtracks and sci–fi iconography of classic arcade games, and her EPs often stuck within their characteristic limited polyphony. Here, blending synthesizers with acoustic instrumentation, she makes those 8–bit quests and battles feel completely visceral and real, as if you’re strapped in her spaceship’s sidecar as she goes rampaging around the universe.
°≡°   Although Meredith wanted to escape the concert hall’s stuffier conventions, Varmints still exploits every inch of these rooms’ dynamic range, from womping bass and juddering low–end to piercing, starry heights. (It’s important to point out that she’s not abandoning her day job as a composer.) Her trademark as an arranger is intensely detailed maximalism, but with a keen sense of pop phrasing that keeps things limber, like Max Tundra before her, or Battles circa Mirrored. Matching “Nautilus” for pure muscle is “R–Type,” a mass of screaming arpeggios that evokes the do–or–die auto–fire moments of a classic intergalactic shoot’em–up’s final level. “The Vapours” is equally bonkers, and sounds like a roomful of overheated machines on the precipice of exploding, while “Shill” thrashes like a herd of angry bull elephants romping in a lake.
°≡°   Meredith knows the pleasure that can come from pushing a little bit too hard, and the record’s few low–key, borderline–ambient instrumentals (“Honeyed Words,” the lovely closer “Blackfriars”) serve as welcome respites from the madness. Meredith is equally capable of subtler assaults, which she wages with miraculous and exhilarating builds: “Scrimshaw” starts out sounding melancholy and graceful eventually bursts into an unrelenting cosmic endorphin rush. On “Last Rose," Her plaintive, piercing vocals intensify the song’s sense of loss. Her crescendos don’t always lead to a drop, but she makes you feel the hunger in every one.
°≡°   All of these skills feel like they could serve as key ingredients of great pop songs, and, wouldn’t you know it, Meredith can write those, too. The three here seem to deal with the various stages of a break–up: “Taken” feels like “R–Type”’s more muted sibling, driven not by brute force but Meredith and collaborator Jack Ross’ confident  “yeah–eh–eh–eh–eh” chorus and a skittish bass line. With different production, “Something Helpful” could be a massive rave–up; as it is, Meredith strips out most of the low end and spins it into a sweet and unguarded ultimatum. “Dowager” starts as a spinster’s lament, its queered vocals and crystalline guitars aligning it with Wild Beasts circa Smother, but eventually finds strength in the idea of a widower who “plays by herself.”
°≡°   Meredith’s diverse array of classical commissions has included making music inspired by MRI scanners, performing body percussion pieces at the BBC Proms, and conducting five disparate ensembles connected by satellite hook–up. Perhaps fairly, she worried about becoming the “novelty movement girl,” but then, those were all works written for commissions. Her first wholly indepedent project reveals her to be one of the most innovative minds in modern British music: She wears her obvious theoretical grounding lightly and never lets it obstruct her ecstatic quest for new ideas and deranged stimuli. And Varmints is a knockout, the kind that makes you see cartoon stars. °≡°   http://pitchfork.com/
Website: http://www.annameredith.com/varmints
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AnnaHMeredith
Also: Written by Ryo Miyauchi on March 07 2016. Score: 70
°≡°   http://www.unrecorded.mu/reviews/anna-meredith-varmints/PRESS:
°≡°   “VIBRANT AND KALEIDOSCOPIC IN A WAY FEW MUSICIANS COULD EVER MUSTER, [VARMINTS] PROVIDES A JOLT OF ENERGY AND INSPIRATION TO BOTH THE POP AND CLASSICAL INFLECTIONS OF ANNA MEREDITH’S PERSONALITY, BRIDGING THE TWO WORLDS LIKE NEVER BEFORE AND MARKING HER OUT AS A TALENT LIKE NO OTHER.” — DIY ****
°≡°   “JAW–DROPPING DEBUT AVOIDS GENRE LIMITATION BY REINVENTING THEM.” — LINE OF BEST FIT (ALBUM OF THE WEEK)
°≡°   “HEARING A YOUNG CLASSICAL COMPOSER, REGARDLESS OF GENDER LEAP AHEAD OF THE PACK TO MAKE ELECTRONIC MUSIC THATS BOTH ACCESSIBLE AND OUT THERE IS SOMETHING VERY SPECIAL.” — THE WIRE
°≡°   “A MARVELLOUSLY SOBERING BOISTEROUS BEAST OF A RECORD AND A SPARKING DEBUT.” — MUSICOMH ****½
°≡°   “SO PHYSICAL, SO BIG AND BOLD AND LOUD AND FUN THAT YOU COULD REACH OUT AND TOUCH IT.” — ELECTRONIC SOUND
°≡°   “I GOT TO HEAR MY BEST MATE’S BABY SON LAUGH A FEW WEEKS BACK AND STILL THE BEST THING I’VE HEARD THIS YEAR IS THIS ANNA MEREDITH RECORD.” — LONDON IN STEREO
ABOUT:
°≡°   Anna Meredith is a composer, producer and performer of both acoustic and electronic music.  Her sound is frequently described as ‘maximalist’ ‘uncategorisable’ and ‘genre–hopping’ and straddles the different worlds of contemporary classical, avant pop, electronica and experimental rock.
°≡°   Her music has been performed everywhere from the BBC Last Night of the Proms to flashmob body–percussion performances in the M6 Services, PRADA fashion campaigns, numerous films, installations and documentaries, pop festivals, clubs and classical concert halls worldwide and broadcast on Radio 1, 2, 3, 4 & 6. She is published by a new partnership between Warp Publishing & Faber Publishing.
°≡°   She is also a regular TV and Radio guest, judge and panel member on numerous shows including as Goldie’s mentor for the TV show Classic Goldie.
°≡°   She has been Composer in Residence with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, RPS/PRS Composer in the House with Sinfonia ViVA, the classical music representative for the 2009 South Bank Show Breakthrough Award and winner of the 2010 Paul Hamlyn Award for Composers.
°≡°   Her recent piece Connect It was written for the BBC’s award winning Ten Pieces scheme which involved half of all UK Primary school children working on Connect It as well as Anna leading broadcasts, workshops and performances including at Radio 2’s Proms in the Park to 40,000 people.
°≡°   Anna’s two EPs — Black Prince Fury and Jet Black Raider were released on Moshi Moshi Records to critical acclaim including Drowned in Sound’s Single of the Year.
°≡°   She performs with her band of classical musicians and a line up of Anna on clarinet and electronics plus two cellists, electric guitar, tuba and drums.  They have performed everywhere from Latitude to Ether festivals, la Gaîté Lyrique, Le Guess Who to classical music festivals and residencies. They will be touring and playing various festivals in the UK and throughout Europe during 2016.
°≡°   Recent projects have included collaborations with Laura Marling and The Stranglers for the first 6Music Prom, commissions for the Aurora Orchestra, Scottish Ensemble, Netherlands Chamber Orchestra and Living Earth Duo, Installations for Sleep–Pods in Singapore and Park Benches in Hong Kong and the world’s first Concerto for Beatboxer and Orchestra.
°≡°   Plans for 2016 include a new piece for the Kronos Quartet, working with her sister, illustrator Eleanor Meredith on a new piece incorporating Vivaldi’s Four Seasons for the Scottish Ensemble, and the release of Anna’s debut album Varmints on Moshi Moshi/PIAS in March 2016.°≡°°≡°°≡°°≡°°≡°°≡°°≡°°≡°°≡°°≡°°≡°°≡°°≡°°≡°°≡°°≡°°≡°°≡°°≡°°≡°°≡

Anna Meredith — Varmints (4th March, 2016)

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