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Album Review

Chantal Passamonte's sophomore album for Warp follows in the footsteps of its predecessor, One on One, in its collision of the awkward with the beautiful. Despite living in the English countryside and having conjured up many of the sounds on the album from naturally found materials, the sonic vision of her alter ego is more dilapidated cityscape than untouched wilderness, with a density forged from the constant push and pull of opposing elements — the taps and scrapes of splintered percussion never quite amounting to a recognizable beat before they collapse under the weight of subtle tones and an occasional swell of melody. Like labelmates Aphex Twin and Autechre, this all amounts to something of a tough listen, though it is tracks like "Sixnot6" and "Distracted2" that really reward the listener willing to wade through the bleak atmospherics. The human interference that defines these two tracks has the effect of a brittle emotive film holding the rest of the album together as a tangible whole, emerging from the clangs and clatters with a minute or so of silk-spun synthetic orchestration like a shaft of sun through an overcast sky.


Born: 1969 in Durban, South Africa

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '90s, '00s

A promoter, DJ and formerly a publicist at Warp Records, Mira Calix was signed to her own Warp contract in 1996 to record abstract ambience that relies on a wide variety of sound sources, organic or otherwise. Born and raised in South Africa, she moved to London in 1991 and began working at the Ambient Soho store on Berwick St., while DJing and throwing parties with her flatmate, Solid Steel mixer Strictly Kev. She began working at Warp, and recorded a single ("Llanga," featuring a Gescom co-production...
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Skimskitta, Mira Calix
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