Katya Prokina thrives in liminal areas, making music that sits between continents and states of consciousness. A decade in the past, as a member of a dream-pop band referred to as Tip Prime Tellix, the Russian producer, vocalist, and classically skilled violinist tried to “embody the phenomena of listening to music whereas falling asleep,” with pleasant-enough outcomes. Going solo as Katya Yonder, she succeeded extra absolutely throughout three eerie ambient cassettes for the St. Petersburg label Floe, culminating with 2017’s Winter Skins, a affected person, drifting album that evokes a snowy mountainside glimpsed from the brink of oblivion. Yonder’s fourth album, Multiply Intentions, is her boldest effort at boundary-blurring but.
Born out of a 2018 mix for well-traveled Berlin label Métron, Multiply Intentions explores Yonder’s perspective as a local of Yekaterinburg, a former Soviet industrial hub positioned on the border between Europe and Asia. Spacey electronics coexist with the earthy hum of Azerbaijani people devices, and the lyrics traverse from Yonder’s major Russian to Japanese, English, and French. That intercontinental idea underpins an album that’s simply as absorbing for the way it flits throughout different thresholds: between pop and experimentation, authenticity and fantasy. With spectral vocals, watery chimes, pulsing bass, and hardly any drums, Multiply Intentions captures what it would really feel prefer to hearken to music whereas falling asleep on the Trans-Siberian Railway, or no matter path may greatest result in someplace you’ve solely imagined.
Though Multiply Intentions is the primary Yonder album with distinguished vocals, it’s extra atmospheric than conventionally song-based, and never solely because of the comprehension barrier for anybody who isn’t quadrilingual. Her opening phrases, a Russian-language declaration that she’s plunging headlong into one thing like an abyss, are barely audible amid Uncut Gems-like synth burbles and woodwind flutters. When Yonder’s excessive lilt first involves the fore, murmuring about having “to cease for some time” over the LaserDisc science-special shimmer of “Answer,” her phrases are nonetheless barely out of attain, an impact like a British people ballad plopped down in 1980s hyperreality. “One other Time,” essentially the most propulsive of those 14 tracks, hits more durable in context than it in any other case may, as a result of its aching synth-pop is tucked amid all this heady reflection.
Multiply Intentions invitations you to maintain puzzling over it after listening, particularly its songs that sit at particularly sharp divides. “Наверняка” (“For Certain”) is coolly intoned in throaty Russian, however its hypnotic organ squiggles wouldn’t be misplaced within the stomach dance music of Egyptian legend Hany Mehanna. Its serenely ringing arpeggios, in the meantime, hold sending me to French duo Air’s Japan-seeking “Alone in Kyoto”—initially from the soundtrack to 2003’s Misplaced in Translation, aptly sufficient. The following monitor, “Invented Journey,” a centerpiece of Yonder’s 2018 combine, is the primary monitor right here with lyrics in Japanese, which Yonder studied in class. Although her engagement with the language is clear, she has by no means truly been to Japan. The ghostly echoes and bird-chirp sound results of “Invented Journey” are transportive, however to someplace misty and never fairly there, like attempting to recollect a Kate Bush music your unconscious made up in a single day.
Kate NV, Yonder’s fellow Russian digital artist, is a straightforward comparability, but additionally a becoming one. With Multiply Intentions, Yonder too has made an otherworldly album that defies all borders. On the finale, “Interlude,” one other lushly arrayed standout from the 2018 combine, she delivers a French translation of a German poem by a Romanian-born author: a dreamy postcard from an undefined utopia. Lengthy after Multiply Intentions ends, the potential of such a spot stays with you.
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