Human Ear Music, Colombia
by Glòria Guirao Soro
Syzygy defines a straight line configuration of three celestial bodies, such as the moon, the sun and the planets. The title Colombian musician Lucrecia Dalt has chosen for her third album gives us already a hint about the character of this record, released by Berlin label MEH last month. After having spent the last years in Barcelona, where she released her first two albums (Congost, 2010 and Commutus, 2012), Lucrecia has since moved to Berlin. Syzygy was recorded in her apartment in Barcelona and reflects an atmosphere of loneliness and intimacy, of experimentation and a wish for abstraction.
The word “syzygy” has also other meanings, most of them related to the concept of union, such as pairing, union of opposites, close union of non-related bodies. The songs in this album present a union of opposites by being suspended (in-gravity) and heavy and solid, at the same time. Singing in the lowest register, Lucrecia’s voice blends with the bass loops creating a dark and intimate soundscape. Syzygy is an album about loneliness, confusion and estrangement, a collection of very solemn musical episodes that wrap the listener with a mantle of gloom and gravity. Lucrecia Dalt mixes here a multiplicity of sounds, effects and variations coming off to an apparently very intuitive composition that is actually an overly calculated process of abstraction. Even the song titles are enigmatic and contribute to the gloomy and uncanny atmosphere the album suggests.
Syzygy, as a bedroom produced ensemble, reminds us of other recent works of this genre such as Don The Tiger’s Varadero, Laurel Halo’s Chance Of Rain or even Julia Holter’s and Molly Nilsson’s last albums, but less danceable. The opening song, “Glosolalia” displays a combination of sound progressions that is present all throughout the album: “Soliloquios” or “Murmur” are other examples of circular sound waves twirling around weightless. On the other side, there are also hypersubtle musical landscapes such as “Levedad” and “Volavérunt,” which are based on low frequency drones with Lucrecia’s whispering voice bringing the eerie and uncanny to a new level. This is a truly introspective album, we wouldn't expect something less from her. Headphones are highly encouraged.