Marina Herlop - Pripyat Music Album Reviews

Marina Herlop - Pripyat Music Album Reviews
The Catalan composer’s third album creates an immersive and at times thrilling world out of piano, electronics, and her remarkably agile voice, which is processed, stretched, and pulled apart at will.

Marina Herlop’s music is driven by her remarkable voice: She is capable of both hopscotching through operatic upper registers and settling into a dreamily dulcet tone, often within the same song. The Catalan experimental musician explored relatively traditional classical styles on her first two albums, 2016’s Nanook and 2018’s Babasha, whose songs for voice and piano, with occasional electronic accents, reflected her conservatory training. Pripyat, Herlop’s third album and first for cult label PAN, takes a surprising left turn. Introducing more pronounced vocal manipulation, drum patterns, and further digital embellishments, Pripyat is her most multidimensional and fascinating work to date, stretching the human voice in seemingly infinite directions.

The addition of a third instrument to Herlop’s toolkit—especially one as boundless as production software—dramatically expands her sound. The decision to focus on electronics was as much practical as artistic. Piano and voice “were the only tools I really had,” she admitted of her previous albums. Yet the computer is essential to Pripyat’s astonishing breadth as it moves between off-kilter rhythms and atmospheric electronics while showcasing the strength of Herlop’s voice. On “Lyssof,” she sings a bounding a cappella verse before glitchy production swarms her: A crinkled electric guitar line, metronomic synth pads, and digital chatter threaten to collapse in on each other before coalescing into a recognizable shape. “Abans Abans” minces a piano melody into tinkling ribbons over a thudding, deconstructed drum beat, taking a full minute before Herlop’s voice arrives in various alien forms to thread each part together. She builds tension with these disparate abstract elements, carefully constructing an immersive world around her voice, which is continually processed, stretched, and pulled apart at will.

As on Herlop’s previous albums, the majority of the lyrics on Pripyat are in an imagined language, forcing her music to rely on syllabic phrasing and harmonies. She was also inspired by the Carnatic music of Southern India, interpolating the style’s percussive vocal expressions on “Miu” over an amniotic backdrop of rippling tones and vibrating feedback. Earlier, during the standout “Shaolin Mantis,” Herlop gasps, coos, and chirps over watery chords and a juddering, danceable drum pattern. Evoking Björk’s mischievous vocal tampering, here Herlop leans into a thrilling sense of play and invention. Listening to Pripyat is a vertiginous experience, like moving through the stops and starts of Herlop’s mind in real time.

A subtle theme of renewal courses throughout Pripyat, conveyed through both its mercurial sound and its title. The album is named after a city in northern Ukraine that was abandoned after the Chernobyl disaster in 1986; today it stands as a ghost town overgrown with trees, flowers, and shrubs. It’s a striking, eerie, and surprisingly fitting image of posthuman life to pair with Herlop’s polymorphic music. Pripyat gives shape to a future world, one where language isn’t required to establish deep connections to the earth and to one another.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Marina Herlop - Pripyat Music Album Reviews Marina Herlop - Pripyat Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on June 03, 2022 Rating: 5


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