Brazilian experimental multi-instrumentalist Carla Boregas follows plates for Bokeh Versions and Hive Mind with a ghostly set of deep listening electronics that plays like a symphony for an imagined woodwind orchestra, one to file next to recent work by Wojciech Rusin, Debit and Bloedneus & de Snuitkever.
Carla Boregas is best known from her tenure in São Paulo’s genre-bending experimental post-punk scene, playing in long-running outfit Rakta as well as other related offshoots. Her solo material has been knottier to unpick, here developing ideas from a collection of unfinished fragments and notebook scribbles exploring the possibility of finding a wind instrument that could be played collectively by several musicians. Coinciding with the pandemic, however, she soon realised the inherent risks involved with sharing breath and so the concept took a different direction, with added resonance.
Boregas developed a synthetic alternative, layering vocals and environmental recordings to suggest wind instrumentation without attempting to mimic it. The sounds here are airy, but rarely diegetic – on the title track, Boregas uses analog arpeggios and plucked, sustained tones to approximate the kosmische world of Ash Ra Tempel or more recently Emeralds, as if trapped in a wind tunnel, moved forward by an unseen force.
There’s a whisper of the ancient past that harmonises with Wojciech Rusin’s speculative medieval gasps, and Bloedneus & de Snuitkever’s severely underheard ‘Milli Mille’, an examination of the ancient Greek aulos. On ’Grafia Do Invisível’ the sound is completely different again, but the concept remains, using precise analog drones and minuscule timbral shifts to imitate the character of a wind instrument and simultaneously harmonise with the deep listening meditations of Éliane Radigue and Kali Malone.
A voice enters the frame on ‘Sopro’, chopped into deviated gulps and syllables, creating a language that’s unfamiliar and percussive. The use of breath is subtle, and vocalisations criss-cross between synths and faint whistles, forming an expression that’s different from its predecessors but intrinsically interlinked. This is where ‘Pena Ao Mar’ excels, by viewing breath and its application in electronic music from multiple angles simultaneously. Fans of Lucy Duncombe, Lucrecia Dalt, or Sarah Davachi – don’t miss this one.
released March 6, 2023