Boomkat Product Review:
Remember that insane 110 track album from Voice Actor, our number 2 Album of The Year 2022 and one of the most impressive debuts of recent years? We've been asked constantly about a physical edition and - finally - here it is, a 16 track vinyl edition compiled by Stroom, complete with updated versions of familiar tracks plus 3 brand new songs. If you've no clue what/who we're talking about and yr into anything from Hype WIlliams to Broadcast, Dean Blunt to Félicia Atkinson, Klein to Mica Levi, just do yrselves a huge favour and cop this now, thank us later.
The original album was assembled to reflect the chaos of the process; Noa Kurzweil and Levi Lanser would upload music to SoundCloud under a random name and then delete the page a week later, delivering WeTransfer links to anyone who might be interested. The record was assembled alphabetically, so any discernible narrative was obscured by the sheer volume of tracks, a sort of continuous transmission, rather than album. Now, the material has been presented more coherently, and while we lose some of the spiky, DIY eccentricity, we gain a more curated listening experience.
Led by Kurzweil and Lanser, the album features contributions from Elijah Evans (aka Yarrow.co), Adam C. Passarella (aka EGO DEATH), Adriaan De Roover, Stef Veldhuis and Diane deMoor (aka Stlll). It starts appropriately with the brief 'HHBYTL' (track 41 on the original record), an airy spoken back-and-forth accompanied by birdsong and accordion tones. "Happiness has brought you to life," a voice assures in wellness-coded tones. "Happiness has brought me to life? Sure," Kurzweil asks in response. New track 'Slush 77' follows, and that's not to be confused with 'Slush' from the debut release. Unlike its crumbly, caliginous predecessor, this one's a lulling, electro-flecked meditation that splices an Other People Place-style bassline into a mush of squealing noise and Kurzweil's crystal-clear voice. A slew of familiar tracks follow on closely: the effervescent, whimsical 'Daydream', the Inga Copeland-like 'Let U Go' and 'Camden', a doomed synth drone with naïve spoken word vocals.
'What It's Worth' is another new track and a particular highlight, sporting a twitchy R&B rhythm from Yarrow.co and one of Kurzweil's most radio-friendly vocal performances. She sounds almost like Tirzah, rhyming into cathedral strength reverb until the track disintegrates into cloudy loops and locked strings. 'Minefields' is just as arresting, swirling a light-footed, sleazy bassline underneath wispy drones and telephone booth coos from Kurzweil. Elsewhere, more of 'Sent From My Telephone's highlights appear, from the glitchy, dream-like 'Myself 2 Myself' to the EGO DEATH-assisted 'Pelli', a low-lit, Lynchian stretch of tempered distortion and radio chatter. Played like this, the tracks take on a new resonance, no longer a stream-of-consciousness diary written in enigmatic lettering, but an expression with a well defined beginning, middle and end.