Motte

Sunday Star-Times - - ESCAPE -

Strange Dreams (Co­coMuse/ Sonorous Cir­cle)

I’m smit­ten by this record. Motte is the Nom de Disque of Lyt­tel­ton’s Anita Clark, who be­gan play­ing vi­o­lin as a child and now coaxes a whole world out of her in­stru­ment via care­fully con­sid­ered de­lay pedal ma­nip­u­la­tions, abet­ted on many tracks by swoop­ing syn­the­siser bass from Indira Force. The six tracks here make sly ref­er­ences to tra­di­tional vi­o­lin phras­ing from folk mu­sic and gypsy jazz, but on stand­outs Give It To Me and Strange Dreams, her cir­cling drones and brisk pizzi­cato clus­ters more closely re­call min­i­mal­ist mod­ern clas­si­cal com­posers such as Steve Re­ich. It’s a bur­nished, hov­er­ing, ever-mu­tat­ing sound, beau­ti­ful and anx­ious by turns. Some songs seem to set off lit­tle sonic flares in the dark­ness. Oth­ers, such as Bath­house, are stip­pled with glitches, over­drive dis­tor­tion and earth hum. The fact Clarke also rolls her glo­ri­ous thick con­tralto voice over some pieces is al­most a bonus. – Grant Smithies

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