Boomkat Product Review:
Second spellbinding volume in this vocal-only series of mixtapes sourced, selected and assembled by Simon Gabriel of Manhattan’s infamous 2 Bridges, and brought to you via Demdike Stare’s DDS label. This one’s on an elevated tip; all spirituals, incantations and folk songs spanning several decades, continents and mindsets, essential listening for anyone in perpetual pursuit of the special stuff.
Simon Gabriel once again opens a portal into the furthest reaches of his record collection to explore what you would ostensibly call sacred music and folkways, shining a light on the sort of LP’s you could easily spend a lifetime tracking down.
Speaking to the unique power of the human voice to communicate feelings without the need for so much as a shared language, the tape’s careful selection and arrangement is both transportive and enlightening, juxtaposing vastly different types of music that all seem to share a devotional dimension.
Even when the mix strays into what you might call “art music” - like the intensely shaped vocal exercises that span the opening of side B, there is a palpable sense of community and worship at play. The spell is broken momentarily towards the end of the side, when a frozen reverb and phased loops extend into more explicitly ethereal terrain, but even that small concession to technology only serves to amplify a sense of wonder at the human voice and its myriad expressive facets.