This year, Toronto-based vocalist Fides Krucker‘s first foray into improvisatory composition Vanishing is released in the United States and internationally on guitarist Tim Motzer’s own 1k Recordings imprint.
Made up of spontaneous compositions, the album finds the musical unit of Krucker and Motzer exploring six surreal, melancholic, and emotionally charged tracks they dub as ‘lost worlds’ and ‘sonic films’. Born of five days of improvisation in 2017 in a Philadelphia heatwave, Vanishing’s six tracks are intended to present wordless stories and ‘conversations’ between the musician’s organic interplay. Of the compositional process, Motzer notes that, “[regardless of] the choice of a key or mode, the parameters of loops, or microphones; it did not take much for one of us to begin and the other to follow. Twice—when one voice was not enough—Fides added a second improvised line.”
Vanishing opens with the brief “Scintilla”: Krucker’s voice sings with crystal clarity on simple vocables, as Motzer’s plaintive guitar crawls in, and the song comes to a natural, grieving crescendo. Throughout the rest of the album, Krucker continues to masterfully present various haunting colors from her voice: hums, lilt, sob, twang, fry, chant, breaks, drones, and operatic wails that veer into glossolalia. She evokes the broad kinship of other vocal pioneers like Patty Waters, Cathy Berberian, and Lisa Gerrard — all while maintaining her own identity.
Similarly exploratory is Motzer, who sympathetically uses prepared guitar, e-bow, and electronic elements to ensure an immersive, otherworldly soundtrack. On the title track “Vanishing”, he uses reversed sounds and a Spanish-like guitar feel for a beautiful underlay; whereas on “Ruins” and “Eema”, both artists weave unnerving but engaging dark, synthetic atmospheres with real-time loops and modification.
New York-based drummer Jeremy Carlstedt joins the duo on both “Density” and the title track, adding sensitive textural support throughout. Of “Density”, Krucker says, “it was made after a conversation about Trump — that’s why it is so heavy — and that was Summer 2017. Things are so much worse now. There is a grieving in the album and a sharing of culture…”
Advanced praise from a previously limited Canadian release of Vanishing comes by way of Innerviews, where Anil Prasad paints Krucker’s voice as both “lovely” and “elastic” — and All About Jazz, whose Geno Thackara boldly glows, “Fides Krucker’s voice is less an instrument than a force of nature.” The Whole Note’s Andrew Timar also described the album as “cinematic in scope”, pegging the musicianship as “superb”. Timar also quips, “some days taking a walk on the sonic wild side is what the doctor should order.”
Vanishing is now available for download and streaming on Bandcamp: https://1krecordings.bandcamp.com/album/vanishing
A special CD pressing is also available, signed by the artists. The CD is limited to 200 copies, and includes an 8” x 12” poster. Photography for the album was provided by Avraham Bank, and designed by Yesim Tosuner of Backyard Design.
Works on the album are:
1 Scintilla・2 Vanishing・3 Ruins・4 Rime・5 Density・6 Eema
To inquire about a physical or digital review copy,
please write to [email protected]