It probably goes without saying that, over the last few months, many of us have experienced a sense of solitude in one form or another. While for some, this brings up negative emotional connotations, in others there really is truth to the saying that solitude is bliss, and on Kayla Painter’s new AA single ‘Made of Light / Sacrifice the Other’, we are treated to two textural electronic pieces that capture both ends of the spectrum.
The first helping, ‘Made of Light’ begins with a chorus of resonating pastoral organs, immediately offering a warmth to the track that is carried throughout. As the layers begin to build, chirping vocals and organic percussion – built through samples of found sounds – are delicately placed over each other to create a rich sonic palette. While many of these different facets come together to create a pulsating feel, the occasional bursts of jittering snare patterns counter that and offer a real sense of rhythmic deftness. The continual build does at times tease the idea of bursting into a euphoric climax, but the way in which Painter invokes being in solace within a natural environment means that we are instead treated to a luscious track that soothes instead of invigorates.
While the first part makes for perfect pensive music, the flip side, ‘Sacrifice the Other’ is a much more brooding track, instilling a definite sense of unease in the listener. There are certain characteristics that ‘Made of Light’ loans to its darker counterpart; the found sounds are still present, and there is a melodic line that bears a slight resemblance to what we previously heard, but the organic feeling of the percussion is replaced by more industrial and mechanical noises – the melody warping and imposing itself in an increasingly threatening and invasive manner. The faint echoes in some of the beats give a distinct feeling of emptiness in a contrasting way, which may have been something of an inspiration behind Kayla’s recent foray into live-streaming shows from abandoned locations for her Site Specific series.
After a string of releases that have captured a variety of emotions, these two new tracks only offer further proof that Kayla Painter is heavily intent on pushing boundaries within the electronic field and has crafted further examples of mind-bending soundscapes that you can lose yourself within. Sonically speaking, it’s anyone’s guess where the project could be headed next, but we’re very much strapped in for the ride regardless.
The AA-Release of ‘Made of Light / Sacrifice the Other’ is out now. To accompany her audio/visual work, a series of limited 3D prints designed by Jason Baker (Scalping) are available via Kayla Painter’s Bandcamp.
Words: Reuben Cross Photography: Lucy Werrett