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På skive



Amirtha Kidambi is the vocalist and bandleader of the incendiary protest group Elder Ones and the vocalist of Mary Halvorson’s Code Girl. Bassist Luke Stewart is known for his work with vocalist-led bands Irreversible Entanglements and Heroes Are Gang Leaders. Their debut duo album «Zenith/Nadir» is something completely different.


«Zenith/Nadir» is an experimental, free improvised seance, conjuring the spirits of ancestors through urgent frequencies, to excavate the intergenerational trauma which haunts and guides our living present. It was recorded in Brooklyn during the tumultuous Summer of 2020, the album reflects extreme contrasts of high and low, in a time where despair and possibility were inextricable. Kidambi and Stewart employ raw and noisy electronics – amplifier feedback, effects pedals and looping, to extend and mutate their vocals and the double bass sounds, so the sonic boundaries between the human voice and acoustic instruments and the effects dissolve and become obscure.


The seven distinct duets draw fragmented ideas from Indian classic vocal music, opera, noise, free jazz, rock and Black music. You can sense on the first side of this limited cassette the urgent, raw chemistry that reflects faithfully the tumultuous despair of the time of the recording. The pieces on this side set a fitting soundtrack for the punishing and times. Just listen to the merciless, processed attacks of «Circulation», the agony of «Postmonition» or the painful solitude expressed in «Exaltation». The second half of the cassette is acoustic with no effects and suggests a more intimate, playful and even compassionate atmosphere. The three pieces on this side highlight the profound affinity that Kidambi and Stewart have established and radiate some optimism after the tasking times of the covid-19 pandemic.

Eyal Hareuveni

Amirtha Kidambi (v, elec), Luke Stewart (b, elec, sound engineer)

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