2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 24 April 2003
Mira Calix's second album 'Skimskitta' is a walk by the ocean, collecting pebbles of sound that she allows to intermingle on the windowsill back in her kitchen-studio. It has that 'natural' quality, same as, say, Jan Garbarek's 'Dis' - has the authenticity of source apparent in Aphex Twin's recent collaged/deconstructed piano-pieces. It nods toward ambient, but is more tuneful, reminding me of Su-Paka-Pooh's Sunny Side Garden (the more esoteric moments from that glorious album). 'Skimskitta' is a fine album, not quite fulfilling its potential, but a good listen - kickback and be transported, without the glibness of so-called Chill-Out. This is serious music, it attempts something - risking failure. Calix is an artist you should support, it'll only pay greater and greater dividends.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 20 March 2003
Pebble sounds. Mira Calix's Skimskitta is cellophane water and rung steel, it urges melody to the surface of disquiet. It is a lullaby of severed utterances, stone murmurs, metal is a birdsong and electric basslines respire and snore. There's something of Peter Gabriel's Passion to the lingering sustain, emotional pattering of noise. 'Pearl' is almost a song, it could grace a Sonic Youth cd. It's a Zen-like album, having an aesthetic very much Japanese and echoes artists such as Cornelius and Su-Paka-Pooh. Warp-stuff increasingly attains a classicism, it is hard to isolate composition from digital cut-and-splice - this music is no longer popular in the Radio One manner (it is referred to by others, and accented) but in itself, this is Radio Three stuff. Calix is serious, how Gorecki and Arvo Part are serious, as Philip Glass and Steve Reich are serious. Calix, Aphex Twin, Metamatic, Eno, and all the electonic classicist, compose for a binary-orchestra. Digital like fingers on frets and ivories and valves, this is intelligent and effective art. The experimental era is over, now we begin to hear the deft application of sampled and manipulated sound. It is easy to be fooled, but these are the early days of crudity and failing reach. Calix touches and narrowly misses, tickles and brushes, and hairs stand on end. Goosepimple sounds.
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 18 September 2003
This album tends more toward alienation, so forget any preconceptions about warm lazy summer days, splashy waves, and knocking pebbles( think acid comedown possibly on humid summer daze). The first five tracks threaten to drop me into depression, like some sort of defense to put me off listening to the rest of it. The first track I wish was longer as the synth sounds are really well devised, but it cuts out suddenly with an electronic needle skip noise.
Some tracks I would quite like to use for cd mixing in between two beat driven tracks, but they're a bit too short and I get caught out.
I find it difficult to say I like this album, but it requests further listening just to hear if it's as dark and scary as I remember it!
0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 14 April 2003
Instruments are not music. Sheets pittered and pattered with minims and crochets are not music. Music is delightful sound. The Atlantic lifting and returning a shore of pebbles within its spume is music, sometimes. It's something strange carried over a distance to your ears. It exists only in the form of disrupted atoms, that kiss their minute breathes into you ears, firing up an unknowable but intimate presence inside of you. Mira Calix is a composer working with sound as vibration, that exists where it agitates the membrane pick-up of a mic. She's working closer to meaningful art all the time, like so many electronic composers aka leftfield dance-pop-subversives. This is a solid, promising album. A new sea is polishing pebbles for your ears, more and better with every tide. Enjoy these for now and await.