Aisha Devi

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Of Matter and Spirit (2015), 6.5/10
DNA Feelings (2018), 5/10

Swiss electronic shaman Aisha Devi, the granddaughter of Swiss quantum physicist Charles Enz, raised by her grandmother in Switzerland, and the daughter of an Tibetan man she never met and of a peripatetic mother, began recording ethereal dance-pop under the moniker Kate Wax. The EP Black Sheep (2004), Reflections Of The Dark Heat (2005) and Dust Collision (2010). The latter contains expressionistic pieces (sometimes spoken instead of sung) and the trivial disco-music of Dust Collision.

She started the Danse Noire collective with Raphael Rodriguez, Niels Wehrspann and Samuel Antoine, and adopted her birth name for the EP Hakken Dub/ Throat Dub (2014), whose highlight is the nine-minute Throat Dub that introduced a very different artist. Employing guttural vocal techniques learned from Tibetan monks, she delivered a mesmerizing invocation floating in a sinister soundscape of disjointed percussion. The three-song Conscious Cunt (2015) was a less successful experiment, heavy on the electronics. The album Of Matter and Spirit (Houndstooth, 2015), whose title is the title of a book written by her grandfather, used abstract electronics and expanded vocals to create transcendental experiences. The songs are evenly split between the hedonistic camp and the meditative camp. The witchy lied over a booming and puffing industrial beat Adera, and the propulsive cosmic dances of Numen J and Kim & The Wheel Of Life, belong to the former. The latter counts on the ethereal and ecstatic Mazda (sung in a shrill baby-like register) that floats inside a quantum vacuum, the warped vocals and ceremonial atmosphere of Initiation To An Illusion, the ghostly voices and harsh industrial bacchanal of 1%, and the hymn-like The Saviour On Spilled Blood, sung in a tenor voice over bubbling synth lines.

Aisha Devi collaborated with dance and theater groups, as well as with visual artists like Tianzhuo Chen. She also scored Ruxandra Zenide's film The Miracle Of Tekir.

DNA Feelings (2018) is a more subdued work of abstract electronic lieder. Using the same techniques of the previous one, it fails to achieve the same kind of pathos, except in Light Luxury.

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