Soap And Skin

(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )

Lovetune For Vacuum (2009) , 7/10

Still a teenager, Austrian vocalist and pianist Anja Plaschg debuted her project Soap And Skin on Lovetune For Vacuum (PIAS, 2009). These piano lieder mainly exploit the melodramatic skills of the vocalist, capable of alternating ecstatic melisma and whispered laments. Consequently the mood ranges from the solemn, philosophical Sleep to the childish, bouncing Spiracle. The accordion-driven elegy Cry Wolf, however, achieves an otherworldly quality. She is at her most virile in the lugubrious Thanatos. She is at her most sentimental in the tender lullaby Extinguish Me (with a piano melody reminiscent of Beethoven's Pathetique) and in the ethereal Brother Of Sleep (lulled by a nostalgic piano carillon and dreamy strings). Her singing is pictorial, cinematic and psychological. It tells a story in many different ways. But she does even better when she doesn't sing: the fairy-tale instrumental Turbine Womb is a concentrate of mystery and magic. DDMMYYYY is an audio sculpture of digital polyrhythms. It's the (digital) arrangements that turn Fall Foliage into a symphonic nightmare. It's the combination of Enya-esque vocals and a cello-driven chamber ensemble that turns Marche Funebre into a metaphysical poem.

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(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
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