Celestial left-field sonic adventures

Photo: Derek Hutchinson

Who She?

An LA-based electronic artist who comes with a nod of approval from fellow multi-disciplinary luminaries Marina Abramovic and Björk thanks to the opera she composed with Samantha Shay, ‘Of Light’.

Why Káryyn?

Perhaps because of her leaning into the territory occupied just as easily by artists as musicians, the clutch of tracks that Káryyn has released so far are wilfully unclassifiable. Taking in sweeping, vast sonic landscapes on mournful tracks like ‘Purgatory’ – achieving the rare distinction of making the notion of hell sounding like a pretty ballad – and intricately-detailed sound design, Káryyn’s songs have a go-anywhere/be-anything quality that suggests a restless, questing individual hard at work. New track ‘Yajna’ celebrates collectivism over individualism and taps into a pulsing, shifting minimal techno-inflected sound world over which Káryyn’s vocal soars upwards into upper-register rapture.

Tell Us More

Of American, Syrian and Armenian background, Káryyn was born in Alabama, but spent her summers in Syria. Naming her first single after the devastated city of Aleppo – for the rest of the world a reminder of the horrors of war but for Káryyn the city of her baptism – the track blended glitches, stop-start rhythms and carefully-crafted detail alongside Káryyn’s heavily processed voice, resulting in a deceptive four minute slice of artisan sound design. At a time when pop is obsessed with using processed vocal sounds to create melodies in lieu of choruses, Káryyn restores vocal manipulation to the inventive domain occupied by Olivia Louvel and countless other musicians exploring music’s intriguing outer edges.

‘Quanta 11 Yajna’ is out on Antevasin

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