Boomkat Product Review:
Kara-Lis Coverdale’s sublime sophomore album of post-sacred music is issued on vinyl for the first time following an impossible-to-find 100-copy run pressed on tape in 2015. It's the first release on her new label Gate, a vital reminder of the composer’s early and enduring genius, and a must-listen if yr into Coverdale's classic ‘Grafts’ or Arvo Part, Arca, Caterina Barbieri...
Iridescent with optimistic melody and holographic harmony, ‘Aftertouches’ was Coverdale’s first release to gain widespread recognition, placing her elusive music firmly in the upper echelons of contemporary composition. It was duly hailed as a masterwork of postmodern musical craft, building on the low-key but leading examples of her tentative ‘A 480’ (2014) tape with a flourishing development of an intrepid, dream-weaving and world building style.
Using readily available samples and filigree production techniques, Coverdale gives voice to her machines’ memory banks in nine perceptively absorbing explorations of the “uncanny valley” located between known and simulated worlds. She beautifully transfigures virtual choirs into coded realism, drawing upon a fine-honed balance of discipline and intuition, learned from years of playing church organ, to create a bridge between medieval, classical and 20th century formalism, and 21st century soundspheres.
The album’s heady array of shatterproof choral vocals and dematerialised strings remains among the lushest, most intangible and thizzing explorations of the space between classical and experimental realms released during the 2010s. And, most remarkably, done in a way that had simply not been realised so fully in this sphere prior to Coverdale’s emergence as a notable, often subversive, figure within her field; lighti♡ng the path ahead in a manner comparable to the likes of James Ferraro or Arca, but gifted with a truly singular spirit.