Boomkat Product Review:
A quietly mesmerising work of filigree ambient-folk-pop, the debut album by Slovak-Hunagrian musician Adela Mede is a compelling addition to the energies convened by Glasgow’s Night School, recommended to anyone intrigued by the intersection of early music and contemporary exploration, or into the atmospheric blur of Cucina Povera, Antonina Nowacka, Lucy Dunscombe and Dialect.
Sung in three tongues and set to a backdrop of field recordings laced with phosphorescent details, ‘Szabadság’ was self-released on tape last year and has now been remastered for vinyl by Rupert Clervaux to best represent Adela’s meditations on personal, familial, cultural-folkloric and deep topographic inspirations. Sprouting in the cracks between diaristic DIY collage and early vocal music, it depicts Adela as the central presence with co-production by Andrew PM Hunt (Dialect), and Mark Leckey collaborator Lung Dart infusing a gently nervous electronic mode to the music’s crackling fissures and play of light, while Daša Bulíkova’s harmonious vocals and cello by Hoda Jahanpour compound the music’s captivating qualities.
In certain respects recalling Cucina Povera’s plaintive hymns as much as the poetic quality of Lucy Dunscombe’s visits to the uncanny valley, Mede’s music nevertheless exists in its own dreamlike space governed by weightless physics and atmospheric sensualities. No mistake, there are songs within, but their tentative nature and sometimes unresolved, metaphoric and metamorphic qualities lend to a sand-shifting experience refracting between electro and acoustic dimensions, between songcraft and heady interludes.
We hear all this unravel and diffuse on scene-setter ‘Háromszorra Jövök Össze’, before ’Spolu’ works a fine line of crooked rhythms reminding us of Mira Calix, and ‘Gyöngyvirág’ gets beautifully lost to micro-dosed pastoral whims. ’Sloboda’ features Adela’s voice subtly stressed until it fractures like ceramic, and the final couplet of stark then stately vocal harmonies and hyperreal electronic processing leave us dazed, and enchanted.