Dia­manda Galás

Metal Hammer (UK) - - Subterrane­a - Bar­bi­can Cen­tre, Lon­don JONATHAN SELZER

When she ap­pears, the re­sponse feels al­most pri­mal, an an­tic­i­pa­tory emo­tional re­lease. Dressed in a black South­ern Belle dress, Dia­manda Galás is as much har­bin­ger as woman-in-mourn­ing, the un­earthly power of her multi-oc­tave voice a pres­sure valve for a host of long­ban­ished spir­its. In the past she’s chan­nelled those per­se­cuted by the AIDS epi­demic, vic­tims of the Ar­me­nian mas­sacre and more, and the laments, torch songs and pe­ti­tions she airs tonight are all broad­cast from the same state of rest­less, un­re­quited ex­ile. Her voice ranges over ul­u­la­tions, snarls, vow­els warped around the most pointed of ac­cu­sa­tions and a scoured and des­ic­cated, necrotic rasp. Whether goug­ing the mar­row out jazz clas­sics, Jaques Brel, or the clas­sic O Death – man­gled in a man­ner that would im­press Gunter von Ha­gens – she at­tacks her grand piano like a bru­tal in­ter­ro­ga­tion. Dia­manda Galás can make the most in­ac­ces­si­ble of spir­its talk, and heighten ev­ery sense to over­load.

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