Good news, back from last year’s album “Spirit Exit” US tour, Caterina Barbieri reveals “Ecstatic Computation”’s sister album “Myuthafoo” to be released on June 16, followed by “Ecstatic Computation”’s reissue on July 7, including a new ghost track.
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“Myuthafoo” was written in 2019 at the same time as “Ecstatic Computation”, which Barbieri regards as a sister album, teasing an ecosystem where technology and biology are intertwined, and the past, present, and future are part of the same essential narrative.
Both albums are based on creative sequencing processes that playfully unravel Barbieri’s deep-rooted interest in time, space, memory and emotion. Barbieri had been touring excessively at the time, and her process began to shift in response to that nomadic, interactive energy. Using the Orthogonal ER-101 modular sequencer, Barbieri manually programmed patterns into the device and fed them into her arsenal of noise generators, trialling different combinations at each show.
Caterina Barbieri has spent the best part of a decade breaking apart the rigid structures of electronic music, using advanced, idiosyncratic techniques to build bridges between academic experimental, dance and pop landscapes. She started recording at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm and Elektronmusikstudion in 2017 the sounds that became her breakthrough album “Patterns of Consciousness” (Important Records), a confident fusion of analogue synthesis and algorithmic compositional methodology that defined her unique voice, followed by 2019’s “Ecstatic Computation” (Editions Mego), wide acclaim ensued, with critics praising its potent fusion of minimalism and trance-inducing synth experimentation. Pitchfork has described her music as “a mind-altering journey” and “a dream machine for the ears”. Since then, Barbieri has worked hard to subvert expectations at every turn, offering an eccentric spin on the remix album with “Fantas Variations” – a selection of collaborations and reworks from friends and inspirations like Kali Malone, Jay Mitta, Evelyn Saylor and Kara-Lis Coverdale – and developing a modish articulation on last year’s poetic and densely layered “Spirit Exit”, which launched her own light-years label and arrived alongside an ambitious live experience that developed her philosophy in multiple dimensions, bringing in additional voices like Bendik Giske, Nkisi and Lyra Pramuk and bespoke visuals from Marcel Weber and Ruben Spini. Caterina Barbieri played Atonal, Mutek, Unsound, Sonar, Primavera Sound, Dekmantel, Barbican Centre, Philharmonie de Paris, Biennale di Venezia, and scored Pascual Sisto’s movie ‘John and the Hole’ and shows by Fendi, Gucci, Calvin Klein, and Off-White.
If an idea worked well in the live environment, she would put it to one side, letting longer pieces breathe and transform as they sprung to life and developed organically. It’s a process she relates to her interest in cosmogony, the study of the origins of the universe; her music is rooted in the limitations of a small number of options that branch out into a much larger structure, eventually reaching towards an open-ended cosmos of possibility. From ‘Math of You’, it’s clear that the sounds are grounded in a similar sonic philosophy; blipping synth sequences nudge alongside each other harmonically, disrupting trance’s addicting euphoria with filigree polyrhythmic pulses. Like ‘Fantas’ before it, the track is focused around emotionally affecting repeating phrases, but a closer examination reveals hidden intricacies as these phrases flicker like illusions, dissolving and dissipating as they snake and weave.
The album’s title track is its most generous and most tender, blunting Barbieri’s usually razor-sharp sequences into rubbery möbius strips that twist romantically, bending back on each other. It gazes at the stars from an atemporal vantage point, relying on synapse-popping psychedelic logic as well as established physics. ‘Sufyosowirl’ meanwhile is rigorous and rhythmic, as melodically charged as pop music and as soaring as Jean-Michel Jarre’s lavish stadium electronics. Closing track ‘Swirls of You’ encases Barbieri’s celestial sequences in gaseous vapors, allowing the music to ascend slowly and purposefully until it flickers and fades to nothing. Barbieri’s music sounds as if it has a life of its own, endlessly expanding and transmuting until it’s able to develop its own rules and gestures. “Myuthafoo” teases an ecosystem where technology and biology are intertwined, and where the past, present and future are part of the same essential narrative.
A1 / 1. Memory Leak
A2 / 2. Math Of You
A3 / 3. Myuthafoo
B1 / 4. Alphabet Of Light
B2 / 5. Sufyosowirl
B3 / 6. Swirls Of You
Artist. Caterina Barbieri
Formats. digital June 16 2023/vinyl LP and CD July 28 2023
All tracks written and composed by Caterina Barbieri
LY003 – All rights reserved
(P) & (C) 2023 !K7 light-years in association with !K7 Music
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