Vietnamese artist Lý Trang has unveiled her latest album 'Syenite' under the banner of Subtext Recordings last month. The album, consisting of 10 mesmerising tracks, is accompanied by a captivating array of visuals that enhance the mind-bending nature of the project.
Her second album is grounded in a sense of alienation, with Trang relocating to Moscow shortly before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Trang's physical separation from home cracked open a deep yearning — an emotional turmoil interwove with the unfolding geopolitical uncertainty, resulting in the crystallization of 10 electro-acoustic gems.
“'Syenite' started when I was feeling isolated in Moscow and wanted to musically restore what I experienced during that time. I enjoy the process of having conversations with myself and with others, among the crises, the questions of the 'now' which we ask ourselves and each other,” Trang told Mixmag Asia.
'Syenite' is a moody yet charming experimental ambient album, but with more flare and character than its counterparts. The melodies effortlessly blend with the backdrop of each composition, creating a lush and intricate sonic tapestry.
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Trang's Vietnamese heritage is a constant presence, with traditional instrument phrases interspersed throughout. In each track, she skilfully weaves traditional elements like gongs and woodwind instruments into an anxious digital landscape, blurring the boundaries between folk, experimental, jazz and dark ambient realms.
'Syenite' is a bold and personal question from an artist who's restlessly looking for answers, no matter how complex and open-ended they might be. The album is like an overgrown labyrinth; embodied, immediate and intense.
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The album's culmination 'featherbrain' features an eerie music video that skilfully encapsulates the haunting motifs of the track, offering a fittingly unsettling yet captivating conclusion. When speaking to Mixmag Asia about the track, Trang said “'featherbrain' is an old track of mine that captures the occasionally ethereal moment of alienation and delusion that resonates with me during the last time in Russia”.
Watch the video below and purchase 'Syenite' here.
Henry Cooper is a Writer at Mixmag Asia. Follow him on Instagram.