Lili by Liai


Lili (Constellation Tatsu; CS/DL)

This new tape from Chicago’s a/v project Lo Bise, here under the moniker Liai, comes from Oakland’s dynamic Constellation Tatsu. At under a half-hour this balances old school ambient with a bit of the new wave of electronics. Brunnen twinkles with a wink of nostalgic psychedelia. The sweet, twee melody is perfectly balanced for Summer listening, even as we take baby steps into the Autumnal shift. At the tail end forest field recordings fade away. Kyrie balances an operatic Irish theme with antsy electronic effects. The harmonic voice is collaged neatly into a watery mix filled with animated bird-like sounds and bouncing metallics.


I appreciate the way this transitions into a granular heap of detritus just as the dramatic O swirls in with a sinewy blend of microsound, soft synth and randomly placed small actions. For me, this is exactly where electronic music should be this very second. Liai has figured a way to capsulize the essence of our ‘post’-everything, lazy society by re-editing endless multitasking and virtual anonymity into a tight minimal composition that is stylish and simply breathtaking.


Jules is next and falls in headfast with a treble-fueled space din that crackles away into a heady ambient delight. It’s taffy-like slo-mo approach is dreamy and aerated, like a fine mist floating in the sunlight. The bright synths are a bit uneven in parts, awkwardly finding its bearings, and ending up in layers that blend light and dark in conversation, rather than duly pitted. There’s some in common with Krautrock here, some soundtrack-esque themes going on, but in the end the vibe is chic. And as we conclude with Cordial, a bit of added Latin coloration, presented with a toy-like string harmony. Towards mid-track a storm of elongated drone synths enter, clouding the fête and making way for new atmosphere. It’s inside for the remainder of the season as the skies here are darkening. The last two minutes are stunning in repose. The vibrations are ghostly and somehow soothing as they vanish into the ether of sound space. A nice, and understated debut.

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