A statement. It may be big, or small. Noticed by many, or not at all. It may come in many forms and sizes, actions, words or sounds. Some would consider Melifera’s latest VA a statement, or simply ear and reflect on the sounds created in the process.
Either way, “Women Everyday Vol. I” is the first of a new series of EPs by the French label, vouching to celebrate women’s talent, every day. Perhaps, it is also worth stirring up a conversation; be it about the balanced representation of female artists in the scene, the need for more statements which denounce gender-based violence, or contemplation of the four artists’ sonic expressions – a statement of their talent and individuality.
This talent and individuality may be clearly heard and appreciated in the small and significant VA. Jana Sleep, Laima Adelaide, Polygonia and Emika Elena provide it with their own signature, making it eclectic but defined by “hypnotic and haunting electric sounds”, as intended by the label.
Each track carries its own character. In the more literal sense, borrowing the name of significant historic female characters, but especially in the sounds purveyed along the way. Together, the EP provides a new, spell-binding journey across previously unexplored landscapes. With a background in cello, the musician and sound artist Jana Sleep’s “Šahrzād” is a lulling start, with intense instrumentality. Soft strings and tribal percussion set the scene and a pulsing pace to a dreamy Persian tale.
Intensity escalates in “Circe”. A powerful bassline, layers of drone personalities and mystical chords make Laime Adelaide’s a contribution full of climatic twists and turns. Polygonia sustains the intensity set with her own groovy, swaying four-to-the-floor. In the case of “Mariana Trench”, more space is given to a charismatic selection of bleeps and percussive elements, with detailed sound design drawing the listener into the deep.
“Stella” is a rather minimal closing, with its few features – whispering hats and a thumping trance-inducing percussion serving as a resounding finish. Although simple in elements, the way Emika Elena tweaks the sounds to slowly but surely have them reverberate into a place deep inside is worth exploring.
No matter what perspectives might lead to this VA being heard, it is comforting to know that a collective sensitivity to profound, deep sounds is something which lies in common. This connecting commonality shared and sustained by a label, artists and listeners across the board, is surely a statement in itself.