7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
A Strangely Wonderful Journey,
This review is from: Asiatisch (Audio CD)
This extraordinary musical engagement with the idea of China by Fatima
Al Qadiri, part imagined travelogue/part high tech fantasy, is teeming with
ideas. There is a fierce intelligence driving this work and I would fall at the
first fence in attempting to elucidate her concept and vision, so I won't even
begin to try. What I have heard here, however, is both intriguing and thrilling
in equal measure. 'Asiatisch' is, quite simply, a five star sonic masterpiece.
Listening to it I am reminded, in some ways, of the impact which Gazelle Twin's
stunning album 'The Entire City' had on me back in 2011. It absorbed my attention,
almost to the exclusion of everything else, for several weeks and I feel fairly certain
that it's going to happen all over again with this baby. So be it! Bring it on!
From the utterly surreal opening number 'Shanzai (For Shanzai Biennial)' a shape-
shifting reconstruction of The Small Purple One's 'Nothing Compares 2 U', sung with
haunting passion by Helen Feng; through the atmospheric pseudo/quasi-oriental beats
and synth sonorities of inventions such as 'Szechuan'; the angular robotic cut-and-paste
playfulness of 'Wudang'; 'Shanghai Freeway' with its gamelan ensemble-meets-creature
from the back lagoon B-movie landscape; to the final deeply unsettling miniature,
'Jade Stairs' (totally spooky!) our attention is never allowed to waver for a single moment.
Wonderfully strange and strangely wonderful.