words by tom johnson
So much of our lives are products of – or at least strictly informed by – the world directly around us. So while Atariame prefaces her wonderful “Fear Is The World” album with a footnote that tells us it was recorded during a “cold, dark and windy winter of 2016/17, under grey and white sky without sun in St. Petersburg,” we might well have assumed such things anyway. Always fighting its way through the gloom, the album is a raw but often beautiful collection of half-buried ambient-folk songs that prickle, and hover, and wrap themselves around the listener like the musical equivalent of those very climatic situation she details.
Constructed from eight exquisite tracks (buy the tape here), though best taken as one whole piece, as work of this nature so often is, the record is a wholly consuming work, Atariame’s half-buried vocals crawling through the instrumental backdrop which plays just as important a role as the voice itself, presenting not a patchwork of noise, but a tightly woven soundscape that takes on the shapes and roles of a city swamped by fog; rooftops and buildings outlined with just enough clarity to tell one from the other, the people and the lives within them all but completely shrouded and lost, save for the intrigue of knowing that such things find a way of carrying on regardless.
Reminiscent of Grouper in grainy meandering form, or perhaps Karima Walker’s fascinating patchwork of sounds, but actually best taken on its own terms, as a own flash of intricate and spellbinding capturing of a mood and moment, “Fear Is The World” already sits as one of the lost gems of 2017’s roster – so go and seek it out right now.
‘Fear Is The World’ gets a cassette release via Constellation Tatsu
You can buy it here