Boomkat Product Review:
Working backwards from the expanded 2020 edition of ‘Grafts’ and the first vinyl appearance for 2015’s ‘Aftertouches’, Kara-Lis Coverdale finally presents a first time vinyl pressing of her 2014 debut album ‘A 480’, giving a breath of new life to five sublime virtual choral synth studies rendered in the digital sphere, originally released on a 150-copy cassette edition for Constellation Tatsu and unavailable on any physical format since.
Entirely made up of “virtual choirs” - synthetic versions of actual recorded singers that were disembodied, disfigured, and displaced over forty times before finally reappearing through a convoluted process of digital reincarnation - ‘A 480’ essentially catalogues the birth of one of the most distinctive artistic voices of our time. Using fine editing, layering, and convolution of the original material to reshape meaning via minute shifts of repetitive arrangements, the pieces here function effortlessly as a sort of environmental music, but really come into their own on closer inspection, where the slightest alterations ripple with something like a butterfly effect to create cosmically scaled harmonic changes and unique expressions of compressed melodic counterpoint.
The five works oscillate between succinctly pop-tart and stately pieces, and into more expansive, panoramic and meditative parts that offer a glimpse of developments to come later in Coverdale’s oeuvre. Those shorter numbers take in precision-tooled loops recalling Carl Stone’s pop chop-ups in ‘A 480’ and ‘A 476,’ and opiated airborne pulses reminiscent of Stephan Mathieu via Wolfgang Voigt in the darker allure of ‘A 478,’ and act as moments of preparation, punctuation and reflection around the album’s two peaks; the banking noctilucent choral clouds of ‘A 479,’ and the gently thizzing delirium of ‘A 477.’
This deluxe vinyl edition comes with a printed booklet including graphic scores that contain the sources and structuring of the A 480 audio text-files, transformation procedures used to arrange and compose them into their present form, and keyword routes of re-creation. The cover art is by Daniele De Batté, and inside the sleeve you’ll find a blue-cell sticker that can be placed on the grid to recreate the original 2014 version of the cover.