Boomkat Product Review:
XKatedral Anthology Series II (An Anthology Of Slowly Evolving Timbral Music), featuring exclusive music from Kali Malone, Jessica Ekomane, Mats Erlandsson, Theodor Kentros, Wilma Hultén, and Maria W Horn.
"XKatedral Anthology II is the second instalment in a series of archival releases dedicated to presenting music by composers affiliated with XKatedral working within the realm of slowly evolving harmonic and timbral music. This double-vinyl set contains an array of pieces dating from 2018 - 2020. This collection of pieces focuses on the use of synthetic sound and algorithmic composition languages as tools for precise work within the realm of spectral exploration. In addition to this, the electronic instrumentation in many of the pieces is augmented by acoustic instruments.
The first piece on side A is Kali Malone’s Music for Low Quartet. This piece is an adaptation of the composition “Rose Wreath Crown” originally released on The Sacrificial Code in 2019. In this iteration, the music is scored for two double basses played by Vilhelm Bromander and Zach Rowden, and sine tone electronics performed by Malone herself. The recording of this piece was made at EMS in 2019.
Closing side A is Jessica Ekomane’s ‘First Light’. This computer music piece focuses exclusively on digital sound, layering razor sharp synthetic textures into an otherworldly dynamic weave. The music heard here is a reworked version of a piece originally commissioned by Semibreve in 2020.
Side B contains the work ‘Hands Melt In The Sun’ by Mats Erlandsson. This composition is built from electronically processed tuned zithers and synthetically generated tones arranged in a series of chordal inversions over a sustained fundamental tone. This music, written as a love-letter to the localized drone tradition of Stockholm in the years 2008-2012, was composed and recorded in seven days while in residence at Ställbergs Gruva in Bergslagen, in the summer of 2018.
Opening the second half of the collection is Rough Draft v.7 by Theodor Kentros. Kentros’ compositional practice usually combines acoustic and electronic source material and in this piece he molds the sound of the Buchla 200 and a collection of recorded wind instruments into a molten mass of sound. In its original form, this music was presented as a multichannel immersive work and even in the current stereo configuration it retains some of that enveloping sense of depth.
The second piece on side B, Inertia, is by Wilma Hultén, who makes her debut on record here. An exclusively synthetic piece, Inertia utilizes internal digital feedback in a sealed synthetic system to manifest a harmonic field that swells and abates throughout the length of the piece, interspersed by small gestural elements.
Closing Anthology II is Maria W Horn's work ‘Dies Irae’ for female vocal quartet, pitched glass and synthesis. ‘Dies Irae’ uses a modified form of traditional tonal harmonic language to invoke an uncanny and restless middle ground between the classical western polyphonic vocal tradition and contemporary electronic music. The version heard here is a live recording from Eric Ericssonhallen in Stockholm on May 30th 2020. Performing the piece here are the vocalists Katarina Henryson, Lisa Holmgren, Vilma Ogenblad and Paula Wegmann, as well as Maria herself on glass and electronics."