Boomkat Product Review:
Polish sound artist Martyna Basta follows her AOTY-worthy 'Slowly Forgetting, Barely Remembering' with this new EP for the rinsable Stroom imprint. You should know the deal by now - eerie zither plucks, spectral vocals and dissociated ASMR smacks, wrapped in shimmering gold.
'Diaries Beneath Fragile Glass' is short, but what it lacks in duration, Basta makes up for with emotional heft. She doesn't waste a minute, drawing us into a manicured environment with decorative chimes, crackles and disregulating vocals on 'Diaries'. She makes music that digs its talons into forest folk's Noachian flesh, while suggesting a microscopic world beneath, hissing and cracking below grass and rotted leaves.
'Beneath' is whirling and light-headed, made up of torpid, helium-drunk wails and dramatic orchestral blasts. It'd be tempting to label the music as cinematic, but while Basta exerts an impressive level of control over her narrative, she sounds more driven by the possibility of texture and sensuality than text. 'Fragile' finds her picking up the guitar - an instrument she initially shied from having exhausted its sonics while at music school - strumming gently while she sings over glassy outcroppings of electronics. Not unlike Grouper or Lau Nau, it's folk music a few steps removed from the canon, both devotional and earthbound.
Basta contorts her voice into birdsong and low, sensuous moans on 'Glass', blanketing it in watery environmental recordings that she splits into effervescent fuzz. It's a glittering reminder of why she's one of our favorite performers right now.