Music Reviews

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Artist: Christina Vantzou (@)
Title: N°2
Format: CD
Label: Kranky (@)
Rated: *****
Four years of pernickety efforts by Greek video artist Christina Vantzou resulted into a breathtaking release, her second solo one as you can easily gather from the title, which managed to delight my eardrum and titillate my mind even more than her debut. Although her main collaborators are the same of her "n.1" - Minna Choi, founder and music director of Magik*Magik Orchestra, who helped Christina for notation, arrangemnets and recordings with a 15-piece ensemble at Tiny Telephone studios in San Francisco, and Adam Bryanbaum Wiltzie (Stars of the Lid/A Winged Victory for the Sullen), Christina's former partner-in art for The Dead Texan, who premixed the album and added some personal sonic embellishments at his studio in Brussels -, "n.2" sounds more airy and mused to me: each track features a grandiose pace as if she managed to render the thickening of lightening insights or the gradual spiritual glimmer by peronsal moments of truth, even when the refulgence of her sound goes through dimmer transitions on tracks like "Going Backwards to Recover What was Left Behind" or "Brain Fog". Orchestral strings act like enzymes for this fainting enlightment, but the most astonishing moments of the album ("Vancouver Island Quartet". "Sister". "The Magic of the Autodidact") occur when Christina dilutes trilling mermaid-like warbles into expanding ethereal and emotional funnel clouds, which gently push dramatically cinematic pearls towards blissful transcendence.



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