Michal Vaľko, aka Line Gate makes a return to mappa with his third cassette for the label. Once again the material is deeply minimalist, but shows marked evolutions in the Slovak, Prague-based artist’s unique trajectory. This time comprising two relatively short pieces (compared to the 40- and 60-minute works previously published on mappa), 'Trap' is perhaps Line Gate’s darkest yet.
Whereas previously his works focused on psychoacoustic phenomena, or highlighted the sacredness and timelessness of “the drone”, ‘Trap’ is a personal reflection of the artist’s innermost feelings, and perhaps a mirror that is held up to each listener: disillusionment, hopelessness and apathy have become an ever-present features of the society around us. ‘Trap’ very directly expresses the feelings of being lost, of despair, of wandering and not seeing the end. Vaľko utilises drones and repetitive vocal/instrumental phrases to express the endlessness of these feelings, and his own captivity within them.
The pieces draw once again on the hurdy-gurdy, but also on Vaľko’s processed, sometimes transposed voice. On “Maze I” layers of humming voices and meandering sung melodies form an impenetrable wall of sound, as the voices’ timbres intertwine and overlap, giving rise to fascinating overtones and singular resonances. On “Maze II” Vaľko returns to the earthy sound of the hurdy-gurdy alongside some deep, crooning voices (transposed an octave lower) and embellishes its drones with a performance on glass cups. More than ever, Line Gate's music resonates not just in sonic terms, but also in its deep humanity and social relevance.