Boomkat Product Review:
Born in Baghdad, raised in Tasmania, and now based in Barcelona, Dania Shihab moves between cultures and continents with an amorphous creative vision directly tied to her transient existence. As founder of experimental outpost Paralaxe Editions, Dania divides her time between Spain and the remote corners of Australia, where she works as an emergency doctor. Now, Dania presents her solo debut 'Voz,' which finds her rediscovering her voice as a primary instrument.
"The title “Voz”—Spanish for “voice” and signaling to her transnational experiences between Spain and Australia for the last decade—is especially fitting, as Dania grew up in a household where singing was culturally frowned upon. “I used to record myself privately by dubbing my vocals onto tapes in my bedroom and lied about joining the school choir. A lot of what I did musically was done in secret. For that, I have a difficult relationship with my voice,” Dania explains. And although not all the songs have vocals, the tracks here show Dania’s voice in an undeniably self-reflective, introspective, and cathartic light.
Created using a smattering of looped-and-layered vocals, instrumental samples, modular synthesis, cassette tapes, and piano, 'Voz' is an entrapped exploration of harmonics and tonality, weaving together manipulated vocal fragments, processed field recordings, and meditative atmospheres.
Dania sets the scene with the melancholic majesty of “I Lied,” a solitary chorus of lifted and lilted vocals and peripheral drones wafting through the air. “Aleph” floats in an ascending, slow-motion sprawl of synth tones, distant pianos, and kaleidoscopic lyrical abstractions. The low-fi churn of “Fire Dash” offers a vibrant milieu of witching hour merriment; a sinister snapshot that searches in the shadows to find even odder beauty.
“Whale Song” departs the well-trodden path and ventures into a thick brush of humid ambiance like a sweltering aural travelog of some uncharted place. The backward drift of “An Individual” levitates in a bubbly fog of heavenly harmonics, while “The Other Thing Is” awakens in a calm, piano-drenched state of hustle and bustle. “Anomaly” closes 'Voz' in a grandiose din of ethereal melody and glorious devastation."