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Album Review

Electrice is a four-cut, 50-minute album by Christina Carter, one half of the experimental duo Charalambides. It is a completely solo offering that features Carter playing guitar and singing with some notable echo and double-voice tracking effects and not much else. The pieces are all very slow, spacious, elliptical, and graceful. Beginning with "Second Death," Carter states that "My words will not die/Another death/My language will not die/A second death/It is gone." This ghostly statement is revisited on the last selection, "Words Are Not My Words," where language turns back on itself and disappears from the speaker only to enter a new interlocutor who never quite speaks back with new language; it's as if it hangs in the air between. Strummed, droning guitar is the vehicle of movement for these hovering, hushed vocals. The two cuts between evoke both movement/displacement (in "Moving Intercepted") and the emptiness of things in and of themselves. In fact, the entire album can be seen as a paean to emptiness, where everything is empty of independent existence and belongs to something/someone else as well as the person possessing things, language, place, etc. Each piece here bleeds into the next, falling apart with a single chord, as a new single chord introduces the next at the exact moment the next one begins. There is improvisation here, too, such as on "Second Death," where the strummed guitars find voices and shapes and colors inside the drone and carve out an extension of it. This is 21st century spirit music, one in which spirits speak through and into the world of the musician toward the listener with new and perhaps even contradictory meanings. Carried by the vibration of sound, song becomes nothing, because it is everything. There is no containment because what is here, as the six strings and vocals bend and blur, enters back into silence as quickly as it began. Electrice is both haunting and beautiful.


Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Guitarist Christina Carter is a founding member of the Texas psych-improv-folk group Charalambides. Since the mid-'90s she has recorded solo and in the improvised guitar/lap steel duo Scorces as well. Many of Carter's solo albums were issued in small runs on CD-R and as a result are hard to find. Her second album, Living Contact,...
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Electrice, Christina Carter
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