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YlangYlang — Interplay
(Crash Symbols PBUH134, 2020, CD / DL)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2020-02-01

Interplay Cover art

With roots in Montreal’s experimental music scene, Catherine Debard created the moniker YlangYlang for her experimental dreamtronic project that began in 2012. With nearly two dozen releases to her credit to date (some are EPs, singles, and full albums) on a variety of different labels, some are pretty much ambient electronics, others are mixed wit a variety of dreamy voices and spoken words not unlike shoegaze, experimental sounds created from processed acoustic instruments as well as synthesizers, other sounds seem to be completely mysterious. In short, much of her music could be considered organized sound sculptures. In addition, she has released collaborations with a number of different artists including Cosi e Cosi and the groups Sacred Cloud and Sea Nymph Science, and contributed to a number of various artist compilations. Her music, while electronic based, doesn’t conform to any of the standard rules that limits most of the synth based music in the past, instead embracing a free-form dreamlike state with no regular structure. One can hear a number of acoustic instruments in her work, including cello, piano, saxophone, random percussives, zither, bells, gongs, bowed cymbals and more, all with an abundance of studio processing. The three minute “Motion” is a case in point, featuring many acoustic elements, or the bells/gongs that open “Dualities,” the first track in this set, further leading to a random melody on autoharp with synth textures overflowing. Many of the vocals are spoken, but feature a sense of melodicism, all veiled in a mysterious cloak of experimentalism. Interplay features eight tracks in all, each one very different from all the others, each a rich and potent stew of kaleidoscopic oddity, but abundant with color, feeling, shadow and unexplainable mystery. “Our Provisional” begins with a cascade of notes in colorful passage and a semi-regular percussiive beat behind it all, before the whispery vocals enter to take it in a new direction. Every piece seems to be more about conveying a feeling of imagination and mystery, much like following a path into a dream; as a listener one just needs immerse themselves and let the currents take you away.


Filed under: New releases, 2020 releases

Related artist(s): YlangYlang / Catherine Debard

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