Boomkat Product Review:
Jungle deconstructionist Sophia Loizou materializes on planet Houndstooth for her third album "Untold", a multi-disciplinary project that includes an AV show, a lecture, special artwork and a book of poems.
Bristol-based academic, author and sound artist Sophia Loizou impressed with her first two albums, 2014's "Chrysalis" and 2016's acclaimed "Singulacra". Both records filtered a deep knowledge of dance music through opaque clouds of drone and ambient noise, re-contextualizing familiar sounds while reducing them to digital dust. "Singulacra" found its footing in jungle, exploring the genre's woozy euphoria in ways not a million miles from Lee Gamble's "Diversions", transforming driving rhythms into ghostly echoes and faint memories.
"Untold" is a further development of these ideas, taking the skeletal approach of "Singulacra" and building it into a many-headed multi-disciplinary project. Here, Loizou bills her tracks as "a series of speculative sonic landscapes" letting the natural world inform the sound in attempt to remove it from humanity. So the icy breaks, rolling subs and ethereal pads are now informed and shaped by natural dynamics: "a lion's roar or the rhythm of a dolphin's echolocation emissions," reads the press release.
This isn't something that's likely to be immediately discernible to most listeners but the concept def raises an eyebrow or three. No doubt the project is most enjoyable with its full AV presentation - as it stands though, "Untold" is an accurate representation of the progressive commodification of breaks and ambient music. The familiar sounds are omnipresent, but the driving force of jungle has been dislocated: breaks are left to fizz into muted impotence and melodies dance and tease, refusing to resolve comfortably. By attempting to remove the music's human element, Loizou has come eerily closer to the algorithmic uncanny valley of a Spotify playlist or a generative videogame soundtrack. Ambient jungle to relax/study to, maybe?