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MIRA CALIX

The "Utopia EP" is Mira Calix’s first release on Warp in a decade. A decade in which mixed media installation and exhibition work, with a focus on classical instrumentation, has been the main focus of her practice. Her most recent project was a sound installation that featured an ambitious choral work, performance artists and a unique speaker diffusion system. Part of Beyond the Deepening shadow at the Tower of London, it ran from 4-11 November and saw over 300,000 visitors, creating an international media storm.
The basis for the new EP title and lead track - rightclick - was Utopia, a Random Acts film written and directed by internationally acclaimed novelist Adam Thirlwell (released on 6 December 2018). In the short film starring Lily Cole and Lily McMenamy, a girl tries to set up a commune in a tiny apartment and finds her ideals of utopian living tested and expanded as an alternate version of Calix’s fragmented track acts as the bedrock throughout.
Calix’s return to electronic instrumentation and the laid-back dance floor, is routed in the physical landscape. By creating these frameworks and parameters she uses found sound, off cuts of existing sonic material from her personal library, taking a collage approach to music. Exploring this fragmented approach further, she deploys her own voice as an instrument, a cut up that refractures and recontextualizes the material in order to conceive a sound that is directly influenced by sight.
"Rightclick" was made specifically for the film, the subsequent 3 tracks followed on and were very much conceived as an EP in graphic form, a sonic découpé if you will. The concepts behind the individual tracks’ riffs stem from the role of the muse, the male gaze, nostalgia vs modernity and the distribution and categorisation of art and the utopian idyll: "Upper Ups" references the muses of some of the world’s most famous artists, "Bite Me", a podcast discourse on art, while "Just Go Along" explores escape, obsession and the male gaze.
Calix has always created drawings and graphic material as part of composition process - visible on her Calix Portal - where she has been releasing material old and new from installation-based work over the past 18 months.


STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: What's going on here then?! An assured return of glitch / micro-house flavors for the new year? Sign me up boss! Essential listening for fans of Burnt Friedman, Marionette, Jan Jelynek, Vladislav Delay etc.

Mira Calix, former record shop manager, DJ and boundary-blurring songwriter presents her third album. It's beautiful and delicate, hypnotic and uplifting - It's out-there, but it's in-here too. "Eyes Set Against The Sun" features a melee of sound including strings, piano, a glockenspiel, buzzing beats, ghostly voices and a children's choir multilayered with field recordings of birds, leaves, water and snow melting. There's even the sound of an old bamboo xylophone slowly crumbling apart. Such aural enjoyment invites the listener to conjure up personal visions of the landscapes and colour that inspired this magical album. Just as the pauses between and during the songs are elegantly arranged, like oxygen allowing the music to breath and come alive, so too are the three spaces, like three silent beats, used in the title of the record, "Eyes Set Against The Sun".


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