Award-winning Kazakh/British violinist Galya Bisengalieva performs diverse, radical works for violin and electronics composed by Shiva Feshareki and CHAINES, alongside an excellent Actress remix included as a digital bonus, in the 2nd EP on her own Nomad Productions label.
The sister to EP One explores mythology and alien landscapes in three parts that see Galya physically push and electronically distort her violin in a range of unpredictable and captivating ways, in the process upending cultural preconceptions of the instrument and opening it up to new stylistic possibilities.
Avant-turntablist Shiva Feshareki supplies a fascinating highlight with ‘Zhora’, where Galya responds to Shiva’s extended turntable techniques, with the recorded results then cut to dubplate and used in a duet between violin and turntable. It’s a jagged and arguably unprecedented mix of keening dissonance and splintered junglism with a gripping focus on the physicality and resonance of their sound.
Galya’s own ‘Umay’ follows with a necessary contrast to the opener. Taking cues from the titular goddess of the earth and fertility in the Tengriism religion of the Mongolian and Hunnic empires -notably a protector of women and children - Galya mounts a lush maelstrom of whirling strings and guttural, ragged low end that literally reflects the goddess’ mythical, radiant solar form with 60 layers of electronically manipulated violin drones interwoven with virtuosic passages and driven by a “drum machine” built from recordings of a Shankobyz (a reed-based Kazakh instrument).
Following her 2018 great debut for Slip, Chaines brings an otherworldly nature to the plate with ‘Claycorn’, a fantastic piece teeming with insectoid detail and chattering, characterful electronics which draws much influence from the animation of award-winning Czech game developer Amanita Design. Together with the gasping, hoofing machine rhythms and dreamlike wind-tunnel dynamic of Actress’ ’26 Drones’ remix of ‘Tulpar’ from the first EP, it all adds up to one of the most thrilling expositions of new violin music we’ve heard this year.