Review: Wild Anima – Blue Twenty-Two

blue_twenty-two_for_webThe reverb on Alex Alexopolous’ voice is exact. Thick enough to conjure the indistinction of semi-consciousness – the groggy half-hour upon first awakening, the auditory hallucinations that can often bedeck the boundary of sleep or deep meditation – yet not so dense to obscure the humanity that resonates within her melodies. I hear the hiss of her breath upon each vocal note, which leads me to consider how her songs are essentially a sequence of shaped respirations; the delicate, exhalative release of one impurity at a time. Yet I can also feel the warmth of a vibrating body, as her tones send soft tissue into a gentle quiver. Her harmonies press against eachother, veering between minor intervals and intermingling dissonances, lingering upon the overtones that arise when one iteration of self is blended into another, which in turn blend with the acoustic reflections floating back the other way. While the voice may excavate the thoughts that burden the mind, the presence of looping and echoes instigate a sense of introspection – a means by which the voice can be externalized and examined. A mirror, if you will.

With the exception of the 20-minute “Selene”, in which her voice circulates spoken samples and soft glimmers of violin, there are no other instruments. It’s just Alexopolous, a microphone, reverb and a loop machine. Field recordings occasionally flutter at the periphery of my listening, although I’m always aware that I may have imagined them. Her sentiment expands into absence, unimpeded as it floats toward the distant walls and rises in the rafters above her. It reminds me of those thoughts that descend, like dust, upon the stillness of solitude. Late at night. Lubricated by a softened, tired consciousness. Each melody looped as though replayed under the incessant scrutiny of the mind, curdled with harmonies that act like implications extracted from the gaps between patches of knowing, stacked into a tower of contemplation that, even at its reverent heights of overlain harmonies and mantric plumes, remains visible to no one. It’s a meditative, internally explorative work, and the further her voice spreads outward, the deeper Alexopolous seems to journey into herself.