Ekin Fil: Ekin Fil
Students Of Decay

Listen to Ekin Fil's self-titled album blindfolded, and you'd be forgiven for mistaking it for a Grouper recording by Liz Harris. Ekin Fil, aka Turkish musician Ekin Üzeltüzenci who operates out of Istanbul, embeds the gossamer strands of her ethereal singing within hazy, guitar-generated masses in a manner that can't help but invite comparison to kindred spirits like Grouper, Julee Cruise, and Felicia Atkinson. That doesn't make it any the less satisfying on musical grounds, however; on this follow-up to 2011's cassette release Language (Root Strata), Üzeltüzenci entrances the listener with eight haunting transmissions from the spectral universe. It's very much a song-based project, with most of its songs, all of them vocal-based, checking in at about the four-minute mark.

Darkness seeps into the recording halfway through during “Two Stars” when Üzeltüzenci augments its minor-key chords and echo-treated voice emissions with field recordings of watery dribble and sirens, while the guitar-and-organ lilt of the mournful dirge “Sea Holly”  seemingly emanates out of some immense echo chamber. On timeless incantations such as “Father” and “Forever,” her hushed and fragile voice, blowing like the gentlest of winds and wrapped in the blur of guitar shadings, burrows under your skin and penetrates deeply. You might struggle to make out what she's saying, but it really doesn't matter a whole lot when the music is already so potent. Ekin Fil might be short by CD standards at thirty-four minutes, but it's a beautiful and absorbing listen nonetheless.

June 2013