Christina Carter: Electrice

Recorded, mixed and edited entirely by her, Christina Carter's Electrice finds the Charalambides member transcending self-imposed limitations by the strength of her powerful vision. With all of its material recorded in the same key and its sounds restricted to voice and electric guitar, the album plays like an haunted invocation, its four drones (‘two personal songs, two universal songs,' in her own words) ritualistic and trance-like in feel and mood. Carter professes to have created the songs in the moment with no forehand knowledge of what she would sing but her confessional dirges certainly sound more structured and planned-out than such a claim might suggest. That impression of unadulterated spontaneity is mitigated, too, by what sounds like occasional vocal and guitar layering that one presumes occurred after the initial live takes. Sunlight peeks through the cracks in “Yellow Pine,” brightening the dour mood, while “Words Are Not My Words” takes the album's meditative sensibility to an extreme by stretching three lines of lyrics and wordless moans across twelve minutes of sparse guitar strums. Throughout the forty-minute disc, Carter's unhurried, stream-of-consciousness channeling of possessed spirits inhabits its own thoroughly distinctive and timeless zone.

October 2006