Boomkat Product Review:
Marja Ahti poetically manifests the super-natural and pataphysical via environmental field recordings, Buchla 200, ARP 2600, bowl gong and harmonium with ‘Vegetal Negatives’, her first proper release under this name following a run of tapes and LPs as Tsembla, and roles in Finnish psych ensembles Kiila and Kemialliset Ystävät. Imagine the sound of dolphins swimming through soil, or Wanda Group finding his true form as a bed of nettles…
‘Vegetal Negatives’ brings to light Finnish artist Marja Ahti’s deeply sensuous and texturally-aware style of holistic composition, giving voice to the natural world as a prism through which to imagine what happens when the natural order of biology and physics mutate in unreal ways.
This poetic license opens up Marja’s sound to vivid reaches of the imagination. Moving on from her string of albums as Tsembla, and her work in the Kemialliset Ystävät and Kiila ensembles, she navigates a lushly overgrown garden of the mind in four parts. Two longer sections ‘Coastal Inversion’ and ‘Chora’ offer immersive space-time manipulations, with the former meshing brittle, glassy sounds with head-wobbling acoustic chicanery to sound like some jellified gamelan orchestra, while the 12 minute ‘Chora' - laced with deeply strange, breathing organisms, most spellbindingly gives voice to the natural world, both human, and, in effect, Ur-Terrestrial.
They’re separated by two more concise works, the para-dimensional space of ‘Rooftop Garden’ with its richly evocative segues between mechanical and environmental sounds, and ’Symbiogenesis’, which sounds like phosphorescing flora singing to each other after sundown.