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Schwarz, Nerissa: New Eyes For Laika

Known for experimental harp playing through her work with Frequency Drift and also a previous solo album, Nerissa Schwarz returns with her second stand-along outing, New Eyes For Laika, an album inspired by the ambivalent theme of self-aware artificial intelligence. As you’d expect, the journey across these nine instrumental tracks feature Schwarz's characteristic, innovative harp sounds alongside organic piano and a variety of spacey keyboards. Schwarz herself only occasionally aided by Andreas Hack (also of Frequency Drift) on additional keys.

The result is a surprisingly eclectic, often deeply atmospheric voyage across musical landscapes that can feel like barren wastelands pin-pricked with beautiful spots of hopeful light. The overall feel is one of plaintive beauty, where the scenes set out in front of us soothe and unsettle in equal doses. Take in the beautiful, steady “Memories Of Being Made” as a perfect example of the more introspective side of this experience, strings and, of course, harp making considered bedfellows as you are taken by this piece’s undoubted magnificence, while always feeling that the effect is being intentionally undermined by the eerie current that flows beneath.

Impressively a lot of the more percussive sounds and heavy distorted bass notes that you encounter on this journey come from Schwarz’s harp, but then so do a whole host of more fragile, ethereal lead lines. “On Blackout Avenue” is a deep, near disturbing shimmer in the darkness that grows into something much grander, whereas “Making Plans For Departure” provides further reaching ambition through a much more optimistic, if still pensive, air.

New Eyes For Laika is an expertly crafted expedition through mood and atmosphere and while the individual compositions all hold your attention and expand your imagination, when taken as a journey from start to finish it really comes into its own. Fans of ambient, electronic, cinematic music will find much to embrace and become wilfully lost in here.

Track Listing
1. Making Pictures In The Dark
2. On Blackout Avenue
3. Olimpia’s Rage
4. Memories Of Being Made
5. Raised Like A Daughter
6. My Little Polymath
7. New Eyes For Laika
8. Europa Waiting
9. Making Plans For Departure

Added: July 2nd 2022
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Frequency Drift @ bandcamp
Hits: 522
Language: english

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