Boomkat Product Review:
Berlin-based Turkish sound artist Hüma Utku uses psychological research to inform this unsettling set of hybridized analog-digital electronic vignettes, based around doomy strings and Buchla 200 recordings made at Stockholm's legendary Elektronmusikstudion. Bleak, pitch-black shit - inhabiting the same universe as Muslimgauze, Roly Porter or even Silver Mt. Zion.
Described by the label as "a series of sonic essays", "The Psychologist" references Utku's studies in psychology, which she employs to fuel shadowy abstractions of strings and electronics that feel cinematic. There's a careful pace to her productions that sweeps up her influences - from electro-acoustic music to abstract techno and industrial sounds - into a coherent soup of dimly lit orchestral flourishes and gurgling analog electronics. On 'Fuel for the Flames', thick oscillator waves set the mood, before epic double bass strokes mire the track in arcane mysticism. Utku introduces a grinding electronic rhythm on 'Dissolution of I', referencing Muslimgauze or Pan Sonic's jerky noise-inflected industrial shakes, but matches it with grim, grinding strings you'd be more likely to hear in Montreal's Godspeed-adjacent zone.
Across the course of the album, Urku rarely lets up - the tracks reference Carl Jung's theories, and our mind goes straight to the nightmare realm on the foreboding 'Rüya', which literally translates to dream in Turkish. Acidic environmental recordings and witchy vocals are layered with uneasy modular electronic drones, while phantasmagorical scraped strings hint at a realm beyond the real. Elsewhere, Utku leans more confidently into experimental electronics on the lengthy closing track 'Chironian Wound', building a similarly nightmarish landscape from bleeping vintage oscillators and wailing harmonic bass synths. Epic stuff.