An On Bast: Words Are Dead

Words Are Dead is the second An On Bast missive from Poland-based music-maker Anna Suda. The design of her “Delicate Synthetic Music,” as she likes to call it, is driven by a strong intellectual undercurrent—influences such as Henri Bergson, Hermann Hesse, and Mozart are name-checked in addition to Autechre and Pan American—though that dimension isn't overtly audible when one listens to it. Her approach is to let a particular sound dictate its own direction, rather than impose a restrictive path upon it. What results is a thirty-two mini-album of seven adventurous pieces of varying character where micro-melodies and elements (glitchy guitar fragments, arcade squiggles, scurrying beats, shimmering tones, sliced and diced voices) weave themselves into complex, multi-tiered arrangements.

Stylistically, Words Are Dead runs the gamut: there's the bleepy IDM of “Permissum Sulum” which introduces the disc with a spacey, slow-motion skip; the bottom-heavy funk of “Foible” where waves of bright electronic tones rise and fall over a lumbering dance-techno base; the downtempo nightscape “Used to S” which adds a gentler and reflective mood to the recording; and the IDM-techno hybrid “The Purpose of Sleep” where placid tones collide with clattering beats. At certain moments, An On Bast shows that she isn't opposed to exploiting long-established traditions: “Moonsiso” gravitates towards the classic sound of dark IDM and is all the more appealing for doing so.

March 2008