|Elysia Crampton||Elysia Crampton EP||Break World Records|
Elysia Crampton — Elysia Crampton EP (April 27, 2018) ★¡★ Je to zjevení. A pokud neřekneš Maria skarä, tak i trochu historická lekce. Ačkoli je možné kontextualizovat práci Crampton mezi jejími současníky, je zde patrný skutečně ryzí singulární styl ... je schopná syntetizovat četné hudební formy, rozbíjející se témbry, husté perkuse, potrhané až rozcupované samply, radikální asymetrie i docela syntetické linky, klubové hudební struktury demontované zevnitř a mnohem více — až do odvážné hudby, bohaté z hlediska účelu a výsledného pocitu. Co víc, Elysie využívá prapodivné zkušenosti genetiky jako čočky, díky které zpochybňuje institucionální pochopení zeměpisu, území a chronologie. Stejně jako protějšek “digitální národní stát” [NON], její identifikace s domorodou kulturou a nomádstvím (“V raném věku jsem se učila, že mobilita je klíčem k přežití”) je mimo tento svět. Svůj hudební projev doprovází hlubokým pohrdáním všeho koloniálního a takzvaně národního.
Location: Bolivia » Sierra Nevada, CA, United States
Genre: Electronic, Experimental music, Keyboard music
Album release: April 27, 2018
Record Label: Break World Records
01 Nativity 2:26
02 Solilunita 2:16
03 Moscow (Mariposa Voladora) 3:10
04 Orion Song 3:38
05 Pachuyma 3:50
06 Oscollo 3:30
by Sasha Geffen, APRIL 30 2018; Score: 7.6
■♠■ On her fourth album, Elysia Crampton continues staking out an anti~colonialist conception of time. It blooms from big, propulsive drum patterns while conjuring a sense of profound loneliness.
■♠■ Throughout her work to date, Amerindian electronic producer Elysia Crampton has maintained a skeptical relationship to linear time. In interviews, she cites the Aymara concept of taypi, “a sort of juncture where the space~times of the here and now and the unknown or de~known co~mingle,” a place “where weeping turns to melodious noise.” Her music resists ingrained ways of hearing; where a listener trained on Western dance music might search for tension and release, for narrative followed by denouement, Crampton offers discombobulated fragments, ragged contradictions, and anticlimax. Her 2017 record, Spots y Escupitajo, positioned radio spots for imaginary FM stations as songs in their own right, not auxiliary experiments accompanying the “real” music. On her fourth, self~titled album, Crampton continues staking out an anti~colonialist conception of time, using music’s sequential nature as a tool for imagining processes that have no beginnings and no ends.
■♠■ By drawing from the rhythms of Andean genres like khantus and tundique, Crampton investigates the relationship between the individual self and the social structures in which the self is embedded. Though Elysia Crampton blooms from big, propulsive drum patterns, the kind that must be played by a group of musicians and not an individual, it also conjures a sense of profound loneliness. Mournful synth chords permeate “Oscollo,” whose glitching textures situate those drum patterns at a remove. They don’t envelop the listener so much as they seem to waft over from a vast and desolate landscape, as though the celebration they suggest were happening far away. On “Pachuyma” and “Moscow (Mariposa Voladora),” the drum beats barely insinuate celebration at all. They gnash their teeth, as if in warning, while air horns and disembodied voices cry out amid the chaos.
■♠■ While it takes a band of people to create these patterns with physical drums, the technology accessible to electronic musicians makes it possible to render these beats alone. The clipped, airless quality of the synth drum sounds creates friction with the collective settings of ritual and celebration in which such drum patterns might be found. Crampton implies a parade and then reveals herself to be the sole participant.
■♠■ That’s not to say that Crampton is the sole presence on the album. Different voices speak different words across its six tracks, though the language never coheres or settles into a pattern. These voices could be radio spots interjecting across the airwaves, or discrete fragments of spoken conversation severed from their origin and embedded in the fabric of the music. They have their own internal rhythms, and because the same clips appear in more than one track, they have the effect of uniting the album, of grouping its songs together into the same space.
■♠■ In the liner notes, Crampton dedicates the record to Ofelia (aka Carlos) Espinoza, the trans femme Aymara revolutionary known for changing the festival costume of the China Supay, a femme devil figure critical to indigenous celebrations like the Carnaval de Oruro in Bolivia. In citing Espinoza, Crampton connects a cultural history of trans survival to the present moment. This blur of contemporary dance music into historical ritual complicates two colonialist myths: that Native Americans belong to the distant past, not the present, and that trans people belong to the present, not the past. American racism falsely situates indigenous peoples within a vague “history;” likewise, but in reverse, contemporary transphobes make the tenuous claim that gender nonconforming people represent an entirely new phenomenon. Both myths attempt to sequester oppressed people into disconnected units of time, isolating them from their histories and their futures. In her music~making practice, Crampton uproots these ways of thinking, presenting a kind of perpetual motion as an alternative to discrete portions of time. There is no now and there is no then. There is only the way the beat hits the ear. ■♠■ https://pitchfork.com/
Elysia Crampton: Elysia Crampton review — Aymara polymath invents dancefloor mythology.
Fri 27 Apr 2018 11.19 BST; Score: ****
★¡★ The fourth release by Bolivian American producer Elysia Crampton contains just six songs and is 19 minutes long, but, as with all her work, it contains a universe of history and philosophical thought. In February, Crampton opened a performance with a lecture about an Andean god, and her self~titled album brings with it similar extra~textual depths. It’s dedicated to Ofelia, a woman credited with removing the mask from the female devil costumes worn by queer and trans people in Aymaran street festivities in the 1960s, and it is steeped in Andean and indigenous rhythms and ideas: taypi, the concept of space/time that Crampton describes as “radical asymmetry”, and pachakuti, the potential destruction of a power structure or hierarchy.
★¡★ You can go as deep into the wormhole as you want with this stuff, and, if you can wrap your head around it, it may illuminate a deep listen. But no good record ever required footnotes — and nor, fortunately, do the immediate pleasures of Elysia Crampton. At that February show, Crampton heralded the musical portion of the evening by sampling the Universal Pictures theme tune, in a wink to her music’s maximalist, physical qualities, which recall the sounds of war. The sharp glints that slice through Pachuyma evoke sword~fighting, the gothic chunter beneath the jaws of some marauding beast, and rave horns pierce the melee like a fanfare across the dancefloor battleground. There are few hooks in Crampton’s work; instead, sounds and textures recur, giving the impression of some narrative tapestry: the gunshots of Nativity later return to pummel Pachuyma, while the chomping jaws of Pachuyma take on a crushing ferocity in Moscow (Mariposa Voladora).
★¡★ Your endurance for this level of intensity may vary, though Crampton’s precision is captivating – her touch always elemental rather than bludgeoning. Plus, the harsh textures are thrown into sharp relief by the album’s stunning calmer moments: the slippery syncopated chimes of Solilunita are dazzling, and later peal softly through Oscollo, where a buried drum motif fights to be heard through an anxious thicket of fuzz.
★¡★ Once the clatter of Orion Song slips away, a meditative, flickering tone feels physically entrancing through headphones. It’s a revelation, and, if you want it to be, a history lesson, too. ★¡★ https://www.theguardian.com/
■♠■ Elysia Crampton is a transgender Bolivian~American electronic artist whose music is a surrealist, politically charged mix of jarring samples and influences ranging from cumbia to Southern rap/crunk to classical music. Born near Los Angeles, she spent time in various locations in the United States and Mexico, eventually taking up residence in a small town in Virginia. Initially going by the moniker E+E, she became known during the late 2000s/early 2010s for her edits and remixes of pop and R&B songs, which she mainly created using a keyboard and a sampler. The first proper E+E album, Promise, appeared in 2012, with the acclaimed The Light That You Gave Me to See You following in late 2013. She dropped the E+E moniker in 2015 and began releasing music as Elysia Crampton, beginning with 7”s on Boomkat Editions and Total Stasis before the full~length American Drift, issued by FaltyDL’s Blueberry Recordings. The album received praise from publications such as Pitchfork and FACT, and was followed by the similarly acclaimed Demon City, released by Break World Records in 2016. ~ Paul Simpson
■♠■ Dedicated to Ofelia aka Carlos Espinosa, china* travesti revolutionary (*femme in Aymara)
■♠■ Elysia Crampton’s self~titled album marks her 4th official release.
■♠■ The Amerindian musician draws on various Andean styles such as kullawada, huayño, tarqueada, quirqui / tundique, khantus, & morenada, together with genres like metal, psychedelic, & jazz fusion, to tell a story of her movement in the world — performing her history, both sonically & corporeally, as a means to gain economic access & agency.
■♠■ With this album, Crampton further situates her work within a long Aymaran musical legacy* that implicates cultures & sites beyond the Andes (following trajectories of dispersion through the literal migration & interaction of bodies & in the circulation of Aymaran concepts, images, music & goods via the world market after the conquest).
■♠■ Building upon the ancient notion that Aymara culture is something sustained through movement & contact with others (recall the ‘S’ meander sign in Andean art) rather than soley being defined in stasis, segregation & linear time, Crampton’s work retains the sensation of a belonging in spite of it’s so~called promiscuity, continually carrying a sense of origin amidst constant motion, which from a Aymara relation to space~time (nayrapacha or ‘past’ related to the ocular & resides in front) is an origian that also lies ahead, not only behind.
■♠■ *This legacy extends well before 900 B.C., but one should note that it was particularly during the mid twentieth century (60s & 70s) that Aymara musicians began building the agency to travel the world themselves (their culture or “cosmovision” had already reached Europe through the expansion of the Spanish market as early as the mid~sixteenth century, informing the European imaginary before the French Revolution), performing their identities through music & dress for audiences in countries like Japan, France, & The United States. It was this movement that would shape not only the national identities of countries like Peru & Bolivia, but would also become the definitive sound of so~called world music today (while shaping other globalized genres like “new age”).
|Elysia Crampton||Elysia Crampton EP||Break World Records|