Pellucid, visionary, shatteringly beautiful deep-space folk/art-song from Ukrainian seraph Svitlana Nianio, available again for the first time since its initial release in 1999. Some of you will be familiar with Nianio's privately-released 1996 tape Lisova Koleciya, thanks to Skire’s revelatory reissue a couple of years back. Here, as there, the diaphanous purity of her melodies and vocalisations suggest ancient Slavic folk roots, but in fact the only tradition Nianio is wedded to is 20th century American minimalism: cycling, cellular compositions, Riley-ish keyboard arpeggios and tone-clusters, repetition as xpressway to the sublime. That time-stopping, otherworldly voice is perfectly poised between affect and affectlessness, exuding both girlish wonder and the gravitas, and melancholy, of someone who's lived for a thousand years. It’s a voice you would follow anywhere, a key that opens up a wide and contemplative space in your heid where you long to remain indefinitely. Using Casio MT-200 synth, harmonium, flute, piano, Fender Rhodes, all self-played, plus the medieval guitar patternings and barely-there percussions of Serhii Hotyachuk, Nianio creates skeletal yet astonishingly vivid settings for her magic-realist, death-preoccupied lyrics; ‘Trzęsienie Ziemi (‘Earthquake’) is the show-stopper, opening out into languid, lunar but every so slightly spiky jazz abstraction that gestures in the direction of Ruedi Hausermann, Karl Lindh, and John Taylor’s most postal contributions to Azimuth. Cut at the aptly named Impossible Sounds studio in Warsaw, Tadeusz Sudnik’s recording is exemplary, crisp as an ECM, and Koka’s CD reissue is also on-point – its sleeve made, like the original issue, from rough-hewn papers, with an 18pp booklet of lyrics and liner notes, and an inner pocket containing several small art prints. Can’t quite get over how in love with this wee disc we are.
Back in stock! Bezzie reissue of 2019.