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Christina Vantzou: No. 5 (digital, Kranky, November 2022)

Christina Vantzou’s No. 4 was really impressed me back in 2018, and it remains a firm favourite. So I was obviously excited to hear No. 5. It wasn’t really what I was expecting, and at first I wasn’t sure what to make of it. I found this much less accessible: to be honest, if it weren’t for my love for its predecessor, I probably wouldn’t have put in the repeated listens needed to get around my head around it. But I’m really grateful that I did.

This is a hard to categorize record, including everything from quite abstract-sounding chamber music, to field recordings, to electronic ambience. Sometimes it cuts abruptly, creating an almost plunderphonic feeling. Sometimes it layers different styles right over each other. There are fragments that remind me of everything from Hildur Guðnadóttir’s Leyfðu Ljósinu to Eartheater’s IRISIRI, which makes no sense. And yet, somehow, it does make sense, if you give enough of a chance. Vantzou has created a coherent sound world, full of strange memories (a theme that appeared on 4, too). It is a slightly alien place, but it is also rather beautiful, and fascinating to explore in depth.

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

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