Boomkat Product Review:
Incantations is a collection of visual and sonic experiments centred around the idea of score as spell, curated by Seance Centre and featuring Tomoko Sauvage, Gavilán Rayna Russom, Félicia Atkinson, Beverly Glenn-Copeland and more.
Finally, a concept-driven compilation that's actually an interesting idea done well. Inspired by the idea of spells and incantations, Canadian label Séance Centre asked a handful of their favorite artists to collaborate by coming up with a spell and interpreting that as an incantation. Tomoko Sauvage starts things off by reinterpreting a salt painting from Benjamin Kilchhofer, translating his forms and runes (used as the album's cover) using her hydro harp. The sound is magical, exactly like you'd hope an incantation might - watery and organic but intensely otherworldly.
Mona Steinwidder's Museum Of No Art composition 'Textile Trance' does what it says on the tin, building a blunted groove from repeating tonal blips, vocal chants and shakers in response to Mehrnaz Rohbakhsh's drawing, a meditation on "textile, pattern and code." Listening carefully, it's hard not to sink into the careful repeating phrases and project these exact patterns - who said trance had to be big room? Gavilán Raynor Russom's 'Shadows Cast By Moonlight' is a collaboration with poet Dani Spinosa, who created a typewriter poem inspired by the witch goddess Hekate, a figure Russom had incidentally been researching and teaching. Her sonic interpretation is typically dense, touching the alien early electronic landscapes of Daphne Oram and puncturing the mood with demonic oscillations.
C.R. Gillespie’s 'Invitation To A Clog' is one of the compilation's most unusual tracks, described as "Roman Gamelan" and inspired by a score from bricolage artist Andrew Zukerman. The score itself was a collage of occult symbols and sigils, and Gillespie reinterprets that mood using jerky minimalist rhythms and gestures, interrupting his blurry pulses with squeaks and clangs. Scott Gailey meanwhile interprets a pudding recipe from Yu Su, recreating the texture in an otherworldly soup of field recordings and pitch-fucked synth. And the record concludes with a chant written by writer-activist adrienne maree brown, narrated by the legendary Beverly Glenn-Copeland.
All in all, it's a compilation well worth diving into - a concept that feels as if it's inspired its artists to experiment, and most of all, connect.