KRIISTAL ANN – TOUCHED ON THE RAW LP
On October 23 Kriistal Ann released her fourth solo album via Wave Records. On October 23 Kriistal Ann unveiled her most mazy and diverse solo work so far in her route. Kriistal Ann: Singer, songstress, keyboardist with a classical music education, one half of the outstanding darkwave duo Paradox Obscur, and a name who has appeared also as a collaborator with Mode In GliANY, Aidan Casserly, Hjördis-Britt Åström, Zoltan Freitag, Art Zero, and also involved in ToyoTomy, and Sine Silex. A very, very talented musician and as you understand very busy too. The muse from the island of Rhodes/GR let out a fantastic album and artistically quite far from her previous releases “Refraction” (2013), “Delirious Skies” (2014), “Cultural Bleeding” (2015). October’s Touched On The Raw LP includes 11 brand new songs including a collaboration with two members from Spiritual Front and two more remixes as bonus tracks. Kriistal Ann plays synthwave music, occasionally twisting it toward minimal synth, coldwave, darkwave, with the one ear always on new wave. Her studies in classical music are obvious throughout all her musings and especially when we talk about her solo albums and Paradox Obscur. She is gifted by nature with a warm yet specter voice, she is lyrical when needed and cold and strict when the music demands it. Kriistal Ann is her own narrator of things that concern her feelings and her thoughts. Quite an educated artist who won’t hesitate to sing a poem in the original ancient Greek language as she did in “Antigone” a few years ago, and a singer who treats the words with love and care. In her new album, Kriistal Ann takes on the needed leap that many artists hesitate to go for. Now she breathes in a wider space freed from the dark-synthetic stones she was willingly chained on. Yes, still she is imposing as a singer, and still, she is a minor-chord keyboardist, but way different now from the usual dark norms of the genre and utterly renewed as a musician in all without losing or selling her register and her fame. Touched On The Raw LP sounds like more than a personal play, it actually sounds as a threshold from now and on. And if her previous solo albums won prizes from the dedicated media as “excellent”, “monumental”, “outstanding” etc, the new one plays harder. It is not excellent-monumental-outstanding by the first listening. It reveals all its delights at once though, but may I ask, do you drink fast a glass of absinthe? This record needs its time to stay, and this record is addictive in all its purposes to entertain the senses in its own delicate and hazy styles. Messing with retro-oriented cinematic music styles, Kriistal Ann delivers some pretty anthemic soundscapes, like here in Lost In Frame which the opener of the LP.
Self portrait courtesy of Kriistal Ann
In Silver Rain, Solemn Disguise, or Going Back we hear her likes on jazzy styles where she filters it all in her own and unique indeed motion. She and her synths, pianos, vocals and accordingly a saxophone all together in a bliss of a synthesized dark-jazz runnel. Black Art, on the other hand, is a mid-key downtempo sonic novel with a midi theremin to make it more ghastly and airy, while the title track Touched On The Raw works as a 4-minute peplum before the sonic quicksand of Secret Shore, an easy ethereal song undergoing toward a creepy climax, a very sad and tricky tune here. And I could spend the day talking about the whole record, giving you paradigms and parallels to navigate (un)safe in the new album of Kriistal Ann’s, but NO! I will let you alone to discover it and I will let you alone to check her work with her guests Spiritual Front and the rest of the tracks in the album. So here it is, but don’t go away yet, I have a cookie for you after the LP!
Yes I know, that was a quality record for sure, but please, listen to where Kriistal Ann came from in that tune from 2015 and think for yourselves how that musician evolved in her own macrocosmic clock. This is the Antigone ancient poem sung in ancient Greek language by our guest today, Kriistal Ann who was back then chained as a witch of darkwave, and she did it all well…the air feared her.
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