Colleen: A Flame My Love, A Frequency (LP, Thrill Jockey, October 2017)

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If, like me, you know Colleen (aka Cecile Schott) from records like Les Ondes Silencieuses and The Weighing Of The Heart, you’d probably be quite surprised that this album ditches the viola da gamba and, seemingly, all other acoustic instruments entirely. Apparently she’d started out adding a Critter & Guitari pocket piano synth into the mix, couldn’t make things work, and ended up producing it entirely on the boxes-with-knobs. The result sounds quite a lot like Raymond Scott’s 1963 curio Soothing Sounds For Baby, only with more modern production and with Schott’s wonderful, restrained vocals (on 5 of the 8 tracks). This is a good thing, of course. Highlights include Another World, which indeed a genuinely otherworldly little ditty, the evocative Winter Dawn, and especially the entrancing title track with its plangent drone (listen out for the wonderfully melting noises in the higher harmonics that emerge mysteriously from the synth’s circuitry) in some barely-audible  and a vocal line that speaks volumes in barely two dozen words.

I bought this from Boomkat. They call it Electronic.

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