ALBUM: Cosey Fanni Tutti – ‘TUTTI’

Known for her work as an avant-garde artist and a former member of Throbbing Gristle, Cosey Fanni Tutti has shared her most personal work to date on new instrumental album TUTTI. Released via Conspiracy International, the record is full of ambiguous and gripping soundscapes that provide an aural reflection on Cosey’s life so far.

Originally, the release was conceived as a soundtrack to Tutti’s autobiographical film ‘Harmonic Coumaction’, which she performed live in 2017 as part of the COUM Transmissions retrospective in Hull (UK City of Culture 2017), and then later as an audio-visual installation for her solo exhibition at Cabinet Gallery in London. Since then, the release has taken on new life as an album in its own right.

Recorded at her studio in Norfolk, Cosey’s music speaks volumes without the presence of lyrics. It can be interpreted and enjoyed most effectively when it’s simply left to play out. No track falls below the four minute mark, but time is not something to be conscious of when listening to TUTTI, as each soundscape has an immersive, distracting quality.

The title track opens the record with a mixture of sax samples, mesmeric beats and sharp production. It seamlessly merges in to the aptly named ‘Drone’, followed by ‘Moe’ which retains the edge of both tracks. There’s a more echoic, ambient element present in some of the synths textures, which are interrupted intermittently by glitchy noises. The sparse yet urgent ‘Sophic Ripple’ stands out among the collection, with its tight yet widening progression. ‘Split’ is a slow, uneasy, jagged listen, whilst ‘Heliy’ is another venture into Cosey’s more ambient world – her distant siren-like vocal gently stretching out over considered beats. The penultimate ‘En’ is a slow-burning, engrossing tune and the ornately produced ‘Orenda’ closes the album.

Cosey cites “my life is my art, my art is my life” as her personal motto, and we see no need to contradict her output. An extraordinary life has formed the basis of this unusual and affecting record – we urge you to put TUTTI on now, and see for yourself what this talented artist has to say.

Photo Credit: Chris Carter

Kate Crudgington

LIVE: Nik Void (supporting Gum Takes Tooth) – Electrowerkz 25.01.19

Surrounded by smoke and bathed in flickering coloured lights, Nik Void gave a masterclass in how to perform electronic music solo at Electrowerkz on Friday night. Supporting duo Gum Takes Tooth at their album launch for Baba Yaga’s Hut; Void’s obscure but intriguing soundscapes infiltrated the heads of her large crowd.

Positioned behind a desk overflowing with wires and synths, Void skillfully tuned and triggered her equipment, creating intense waves of experimental electronic noise. Many will be aware of Void’s history as one half of Factory Floor, and as one third of Carter Tutti Void, alongside Cosey Fanni Tutti and Chris Carter (Throbbing Gristle/Chris & Cosey) – but even without an understanding of her previous work, Void’s solo set is a truly remarkable experience.

The transitions between tracks are seamless, despite Void being open to “the creation of space for ‘mistakes’” in her music. The mood and tone are constantly in flux; sometimes droney and desolate, other times euphoric and uplifting. Despite her laid-back performance style, it’s easy to see that Void is a woman who is entirely immersed and in control of the jungle of wires that surround her. She moves with ease between synthesizers, making her technical set-up look like it requires minimal effort to manipulate.

There is something transformative about her sound; she communicates complex emotions in unconventional ways with only a few voice samples. She blends elements of techno, ambient, avant-garde and noise into a truly stunning performance, which is made all the more intense by the venue it’s set in. Track names and timings become unnecessary, as Void’s electronic craft-work eludes any kind of labeling or conventional measures/restraint.

At the end of her set, Void graciously bowed her head to the appreciative applause directed her way. Whether you’re a loyal follower or a new addition to the fan club, Nik Void’s live set is definitely going to appeal to anyone interested in diverse, original electronic music.

Kate Crudgington

WATCH: Soft As Snow – ‘Pink Rushes’

If you’re seeking “an intense and intimate mental catharsis,” then Norwegian-born, Berlin-based duo Soft as Snow are the band to invest your listening time in. The pair are set to their debut album Deep Wave on April 6th via Houndstooth records, and they’ve shared a video for gently named single ‘Pink Rushes’, which is lifted from the record.

Together, Oda Egjar Starheim and Øystein Monsen create “oblique left-field pop” that recalls Cabaret Voltaire, Throbbing Gristle, deep Detroit techno and Fever Ray. They prefer to avoid laptops when creating music, opting for analogue machinery, samplers, live drums and processed guitars. ‘Pink Rushes’ is a solid example of this, with its pulverizing bass, intense rhythmic throbs and Oda’s “vocal witchcraft”.

Listen to ‘Pink Rushes’ below, and follow the band on Facebook for more updates.

Deep Wave is released on 6th April via Houndstooth Records.

Kate Crudgington