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Maya Shenfeld – Under The Sun | Album Reviews

staticwire | April 1, 2024
Maya Shenfeld Under The Sun

Maya Shenfeld’s second album for Thrill Jockey, “Under The Sun,” is a mesmerizing journey through ominous landscapes and apocalyptic soundscapes. Drawing inspiration from the looming threat of climate change, Shenfeld crafts a collection of ambient electronic pieces that evoke a sense of impending doom and desolation.

The album opens with “A Guide For The Perplexed,” a haunting composition that blends droning woodwinds with acidic synth tones and discordant notes, creating a transient and undulating atmosphere. Tracks like “Geist” and “On Its Rounds The Wind Returns” continue to explore themes of worry and dread, with textures that are both harsh and evocative.

“Interstellar” offers a brief respite from the darkness, with a brighter and more optimistic sound that is reminiscent of Vangelis. However, this glimmer of hope is short-lived, as the music abruptly shifts back into a more tumultuous and foreboding territory.

As the album progresses, tracks like “Tehom” and “Sedek” bring catharsis with their increased rhythmic intensity and striking sound design. “Tehom” features computerized transients and metallic clinking, while “Sedek” delves into prepared piano, creating an unnerving and alarm-like atmosphere.

The album culminates in the stunning “Analemma,” a multi-layered composition that showcases Shenfeld’s skillful use of sound manipulation and pacing. The gradual decay of the music is haunting and achingly sad, reminiscent of the work of The Caretaker and William Basinski.

Overall, “Under The Sun” is a highly effective polemical record that speaks volumes without the need for words. Shenfeld’s imaginative sound design and deft approach to pacing create a truly immersive listening experience that is both captivating and thought-provoking.

Rating: 9/10

Written by staticwire

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