After her successful debut album ‘The 5th Apple‘ Alina Kalancea presents ‘Impedance’.
‘Impedance’ is an entirely instrumental album spanning four sides, contains powerful rhythmic sequences, heart-beating frequencies and hypnotic loops that are paradoxically encapsulated in carefully crafted compositions which are full of secret passages and hidden doors.
Kalancea’s work creates ungraspable sonic experiences, which overtakes you, immersing its listeners in powerful and mind-altering soundscapes. There’s no quick payoff on ‘Impedance’. This is the sound of new, patient electronic music, full of depth and substance.
Produced by Alex Gámez, recorded, mixed and mastered at Störung Studios. Released by the American label Important Records in a deluxe, heavy duty tip-on gatefold sleeves printed by Stoughton, cut by Golden Mastering and pressed at RTI.
Alina Kalancea is a Romanian sound artist and composer based in Modena, Italy.
Her powerful rhythmic sequences, dark ambience, heart beating frequencies and hypnotic loops are paradoxically encapsulated in carefully crafted sound structures and designs, full of secret passages and hidden doors.
Most revelatory flickering soundscapes and receding atmospheres create ungraspable sonic experiences, which take us over, immersing us in powerful and mind altering soundscapes. Some ultimate paradox of spontaneity and total command is under work here, some randomness under control, some certain uncertainty.
Alina Kalancea has studied sound design and synthesis with Enrico Cosimi (Professor of Electronic Music at University of Rome Tor Vergata) and collaborated with producer Alex Gámez aka Asférico (Head of Störung), and artists Julia Kent and Raven Bush.
After her successful debut album ‘The 5th Apple’ at Störung, nowadays, she combines her work as sound artist, with her second album ‘Impedance‘ recently released by Important Records, with being the official collaborator (builder and assembler) for Digitana Electronics.
These audio excerpts have been prepared for preview purposes only, so their sound quality is lower than the found on the 10 audio tracks contained in any Impedance album format.
The Wire [UK]
As well as providing a title for this new release, Impedance is a measure of resistance, encountered in the study of both acoustics and electronics. Romanian sound artist Alina Kalancea is extremely well versed in both those fields. She is also quite clearly besotted with electronic instruments, especially those vintage models with brightly coloured cables and knobs, panels of switches and flashing lights. She is fascinated by their design and construction, their history and potential. That level of immersion could easily be a recipe for self-indulgence, but the genuine artistry of Impedance transcends its technological means, and Kalancea’s music soars far beyond the circuitry.
The spatial dimension of her work is particularly striking. These varied compositions have depth and breadth, as do the electronic tones, timbres and textures so carefully distributed within them. Relationships between beeps that pulsate in the foreground, drones that hover in the far distance, beats that surface in the middle ground, or sparse fragments of melody, weaving to and from, are never quite straightforward. The terms of their coherence often remain ambivalent or obscure, yet the compositional space that envelopes these disparate elements and events manages to project an assured identity. Kalancea’s music hangs together and lingers in the memory, despite its seemingly elusive character and structure.
Some tracks suggest generic markers, recognisable forms, that have undergone some sort of mutation, or radical subtraction: etiolated techno, bleached out kosmische rock. At times, in terms of inversion of expectations, Kalancea’s work is curiously reminiscent of dub, at its most wily and satisfying. Currently based in Italy, she has studied sound design and synthesis with music technology specialist Enrico Cosimi. Her obsession rests on a firm foundation. supported by hands on expertise. When it takes flight through her music, however, Kalancea’s passion for synths and circuitry finds a highly persuasive voice, one that’s difficult to resist.
The Vinyl Factory [UK]
Romanian sound artist Alina Kalancea fuses gothic vocals with dark ambient on Impedance
Atop drone and distortion.
Sound artist Alina Kalancea is releasing a new album, called Impedance, via Important Records this January.
The entirely instrumental album sees Kalancea layering distortion, dislocated grumblings, rolling drums, drone, and avant-garde sound clips over a backbone of dark ambient.
Impedance follows Kalancea’s The 5th Apple LP, on Störung.
The Quietus [UK]
Alina Kalancea is a Romanian sound artist and composer based in Modena, Italy, and Impedance appears to be her second full length, her first on the impeccable Important records. ‘Deranged Souls’ has airs of Jean Claude Eloy’s pachinko parlour piece ‘Gaku No Michi’, whereas at other times there’s the leaden weight and fizz of classic Touch releases. Rippling synthesizers, bubbles and plinks, along with gothic vocal lines, rove between the electroacoustic tape hiss, and what might be best described as a more cyber-electronic backdrop.
It’s been compared to Eleh because it’s on Important, but it is less about pure tone drones and more about a textural type of storytelling, not just because of the vocals, but because of Kalancea’s architectural feel for sonic construction – I couldn’t shake visions of tracks like ‘Master Of Discipline’ being staircases and plinths, crenelations and finials.
Jennifer Lucy Allan
This Romanian composer’s second album is quite a wonderful surprise, easily ranking among Important’s finest non-reissue releases in recent memory. Far less surprising is the fact that Impedance is Buchla-driven (given the label’s well-documented fondness for modular synthesizers), but this is happily one of those times in which the tools are secondary to the focused and compelling vision that they help bring to life.
While the album’s best moments tend to be those that resemble a throbbing and seething strain of minimalist, industrial-inspired “noise” akin to recent Puce Mary work, Impedance as a whole is an ambitiously shapeshifting, deep, and legitimately heavy listening experience that grows more expansive and varied as it unfolds.
The opening “Introspection” very effectively foreshadows what is to come, as it slowly builds from beeps and a bass throb into a seismic slab of deconstructed techno that burrows through a barely-there haze of twinkling, smearing, and looping psychedelia. The more haunted-sounding elements evoke the feeling of descending into a nightmare, but it is at least a propulsive and darkly libidinal one (those bass pulses just do not stop). The piece then arguably segues into a more concise, focused, and hallucinatory version of itself with “Walking Through Storm” (mechanized dread with a side helping of “weirdly viscous-sounding”).
Delineations between pieces quickly cease to matter though, as the album feels like an extended DJ mix of heavy bass, subterranean woodpeckers, futuristic Kubrickian menace, and plenty of subtle mindfuckery (smearing tones, field recordings, etc.). And it seems to only get better as it goes on, culminating in the stellar one-two punch of “Horizons (After a Silent Walk)” and “Concrete Floor.” In fact, “Horizons” damn near steals the show when its seesawing bass thrum blossoms into a darkly surreal finale of echoing voices, densely buzzing oscillations, sinister animal howls, and slow, insistent beeps. While a few pieces feel a bit long (I wish this was not a double vinyl release), Kalancea clearly had more than one LP worth of killer material and it would have been a shame to pare it down to only that (especially since it all flows together so well in its current format).
In any case, this album is an absolute monster, as Kalancea repeatedly strikes the perfect balance between raw physicality, simmering violence, and exacting execution (like an Eliane Radigue album that is about to smash a bottle over my head).
The Hipodrome of Music [RO]
Alina Kalancea is a Romanian sound artist and composer based in Modena, Italy. She has studied sound design and synthesis with Enrico Cosimi and collaborated with producer Alex Gamez, and artists Julia Kent and Raven Bush. Her second album, “Impedance“, just camed out a few days ago and contains powerful rhythmic sequences, heart beating frequencies and hypnotic loops that are paradoxically encapsulated in carefully crafted compositions which are full of secret passages and hidden doors.
Kalancea’s work creates ungraspable sonic experiences, which take us over, immersing us in powerful and mind altering soundscapes.
Rumore Magazine [IT]
Regalatevi tempo in solitudine e silenzio in uno spazio adeguato, sedetevi su una comoda poltrona e indossate cuffie di qualità. Poco importa, poi, se appoggerete Impedance sul piatto o lo inserirete nel vostro CD player. Quella che starete per vivere sarà un’esperienza di ascolto immersiva e dalla straordinaria potenza emotiva.
Alina Kalancea, sound artist e compositrice rumena di base a Modena, presenta il suo secondo lavoro con la medesima dialettica che l’aveva rivelata con il precedente The 5th Apple. Dall’iniziale Introspection alla conclusiva Spell (Tribute To Maria Tanase), ci si perde in un labirinto oscuro di visioni e riverberi sfuggenti, suoni inquieti, ritmi oppressivi e basse frequenze, gocciolii innaturali e loop ipnotici capaci di travolgere e creare alterazioni mentali tra connessioni sinaptiche sconosciute.
Solo Abandon All Hope, a metà album, interrompe il vortice emozionale in cui si è sprofondati, attraverso un canto sinistro e cerimoniale che si eleva dalla morbosa texture di fondo. Tutte le dicci tracce presenti, di fatto, aprono e chiudono continuamente finestre affacciate alle stanze che compongono il mondo introspettivo di Alina: “Sin da bambina ho sempre preferito e saputo ascoltare, più che parlare, Mi perdevo nel cercare di dare un’interpretazione a tutto ciò che è armonia, dal noise disturbante fino al silenzio più profondo, esso stesso pieno di rumore”.
La sua musica tradisce l’ossessione per la ricerca e la sperimentazione del suono che le ha permesso di oltrepassare, in modo non convenzionale, gli orizzonti conosciuti dell’elettronica. La direzione intrapresa da Alina Kalancea la rende, probabilmente, la musicista più accreditata e capace di ampliare le sonorità precedentemente esplorate da Eliane Radigue. Adesso il futuro sarà migliore.