Racines is a five-track album of that sits somewhere between electroacoustic composition, and subtle scuttling- to-surreal ambient sound-scaping. All creating a decidedly dream-like release — that ebbs, lightly darts and lulling shifts. Annie Mahtani is British based composer from the midlands — and has been active since around 2008. Her work flits between acousmatic and free improv — which means there is often a feeling of both surreal atmospherics and structural spontaneity / looseness to her compositions.
This CD album / digital download appears on the French Canadian label empreintes DIGITALes — and the CD is presented in the labels house style fold-out card sleeve — that features write-up about each of the tracks and their themes, in both French and English. The front cover takes in a grey graded and black tar-like spurting picture — that looks akin to melted and twisted road afloat in white space.
The five works here come from between 2008 and this year — and throughout much of the release, there’s certainly a feasting and shifting feel to proceeds, which brought to my mind images of magnified organic material. Past Links finds a blend of gentle rushing and fleeting high pitch grain sweeps, cluttering & glitching gong tones, and sourly descend sine tones. ’Round Midnight is built around rapidly building, then receding and possible slightly speed up layers of field recordings from the Amazon jungle — with all manner hissing, croaking, wet rushing, and twitting been fed out. The track Aeolian really enhances the albums strange / fevered dream quality — as we get a blend one or two distant drone layers, brooding warbling with sudden darts of bird song, water rushing. The track later builds into these weird metallic pipe like rattle & clutter textures — before once more drop down into a blend of distant drone layers, and subtle strange field record detail.
For much of Racines runtime there is this feeling of hazy mystery, grey unease, and slightly troubled dream-ness. So to me felt it little odd the way the final track exists with this more rising warm, and a little twee ethno ambience vibe, but maybe that’s meant to be the listener getting brighter / better dreams… anyway, aside from this sudden glaring shift in tone, I enjoyed what Annie Mahtani had to offer here.