We’ve been sleeping on this project, unfortunately. It was announced and pre-listenable already months ago via a number of major platforms like FACT and has been out since last week on the New York based forward looking label Blueberry Recordings. Too long to wait until the next Essential EP’s, even tho it will be included there too because if there is anything essential that has been released lately it’s this album.
Elysia Crampton, an American avant-garde electronic artist with Bolivian roots and a childhood in Mexico, is one of the most important musicians of our time. I’m saying musicians, rather than ‘producers’, ‘composers’ or ‘electronic acts’, because the terminology used to pre-assign musicians to certain boxes such as dance, urban, band- or modern classical music is closely connected to the culture that shapes these notions. It is this culture that Elysia intends to question with her music. Her tracks are all impressive, thought provoking, intellectual pieces that draw on themes such as indigenous and black American history, trans and queer theory, spirituality, poetry, geology and art.
In a way resembling other avant-garde music movements from the last years such as vaporwave, Crampton’s music recontextualises familiar and nostalgic elements which aquire a whole different meaning in their new sonic and visual environment. What makes her music so much more powerful and unique than these other movements is that here, the recontextualisation taking place is not based on obsessions of the dominant majority cuture, such as mall environments, but instead on the experience of looking for belonging as a trans woman of colour.
In that respect, her approach comes close to the club-trax underground, with many of whom she is in close contact. Yet Crampton’s relationship with the club itself is ambivalent. Her music challenges established narratives and meanings of ‘the club’ and envisions new spaces that enable shared moments of experience and expression which are more conscious and meaningful and better protected against the intimidation of dominant forms of culture.
An important leitmotiv are the typical jingles and vocal announcements heard on the radio all over Latin America. Here they become the voices of supernatural beings, woven together with apocalyptic synths and videogame sounds as well as elements of crunk, cumbia, 3ball, baile funk, Bolivian metal and Andean huayno, into an extremely powerful transdencental experience.
1. American Drift (feat. Money Allah)
3. Wing (feat. Money Allah)
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