Untitled [SA030] Lady Starlight
vinyl | mp3 | wav
May 19th, 2017
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Lady Starlight is known for an outstanding resume of musical and performance activities that have included an opening spot on Lady Gaga’s massive “ArtRave” tour and live collaboration with Peter Hammill of Van der Graaf Generator. A musical educator / tastemaker and a unique artist in her own right, her comfortability in her own skin allows her to employ DJ tools, audio hardware and her own body in live exhibitions and collaborations. Her intimate knowledge of techno (particularly the raw and uncompromising variety designed by the likes of Jeff Mills, Mike Banks, Joey Beltram and her collaborative partners Surgeon and Regis) has taken her to the studio, where she now provides Stroboscopic Artefacts with a 4-track contribution to this ongoing legacy of ecstasy. For those who are still skeptical about the liberating abilities of electronic dance music, this new entry in SA’s respected catalog will serve as a potent reminder of why this essential style has continued to evolve and thrive while transient gimmicks crumble around it. Lady Starlight’s expert control of sound extremes (something she has clearly picked up during her personal education in diverse musical genres) colors each of the four EP tracks with infectious enthusiasm. Like some of the best techno music in that vein, the four tracks on display here are hard-hitting and authoritative, with moments of tension release that have the precision of an atomic clock. At the same time, though, these cuts are full of smoothly subtle transitions, and their overall heaviness and density actually helps the spirit and imagination to soar freely. Beginning immediately with the relentless cycling beat and echoing synth stabs of “E12”, the atmosphere and psychic energy of a peak hour rave is never far away: listeners may see intense coherent beams of light flaring all around regardless of where they find themselves. This aesthetic carries over into “E3.2,” another take on similar themes but with progressively more hypnotic simplicty and beneficial pressure. “E2.2” is built on a less rough-edged, shinier set of bouncing and panning synth hits, which achieve maximum mesmerizing potential when they begin to play forwards and backwards while slightly out of phase with each other. As ever, the body-massaging bass and whip-crack accents of the percussion section swell and expand into every corner of the sound space. Just when it seems like things might cool off, a little, though, Lady Starlight unleashes full-spectrum audio warfare with “F8,” a seamless interlocking of industrial clang and 16th -note percussion hits with the basic elements used for the previous three tracks. If listeners’ pulse hasn’t picked up by the time this impressive finale commences in earnest, it may be time to call for emergency services.
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