Sara Berts: Ayni (LP, Gang Of Ducks, April 2021)

According to the blurb on the back, this record was born out of two experiences: a trip to the Peruvian Amazon, and the strict lockdown in Italy. Most of the sounds here were made on a Buchla Music Easel in the latter context; the former provided field recordings from the Mayantuyaca centre for Asháninka healing, and much of the inspiration: Berts effectively credits the plants as co-writers. And while I’m not sure how literally we’re meant to take that, there’s certainly something very intriguing and mysterious going on here. Right from the very first notes of the ten-minute opening track, Aichi, there’s an organic warmth that can’t just be attributed to the analogue means of production, a slightly unreal floating quality to the pulsing melodies and the ethereal harmonies. If you wanted to lazily reach for comparisons you might say “Caterina Barbieri but on Ayahuasca” but that wouldn’t really do justice to a very distinctive voice. This is a record to sit calmly with. And — who knows? — perhaps, if you let them, the plants will heal you, too.

I bought this from Boomkat. They call it Electronic, Modern Classical / Ambient.

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