When we last heard from Lucrecia Dalt, she hinted at a departure. She pinpointed an angle and presented it in the form of a sublime Guest Mix. There are still five weeks to go before Syzygy, and as the release date creeps closer, the Colombian musician has kindly dealt TMT a deck of premieres, along with an exciting announcement to be made in due course.
In the meantime, it’s our pleasure to present “Glosolalia,” an introduction to this new, humid sound and the opening track from Syzygy.
With promises of a video premiere set to follow, we couldn’t resist asking Lucrecia about some of the processes behind her third album.
Syzygy feels as though it was recorded somewhere on the equator; a wooden cabin in a town encroached upon by jungle thicket. There is an immeasurable heat that runs through it, which doesn’t immediately reflect Barcelona, the city it was recorded in. How did you arrive at this sound?
I think I’ve been there before, but that was like 18 years ago, when family car travels between Colombia and Ecuador where still reasonable. Let’s replace jungle for a set of indoor plants, let’s change latitude, let’s keep the humidity, and there we are, where it happened. Why did I arrive at this sound? Perhaps it’s just the fact that the room had no parallel walls, or most likely because the magnetic field of the metro station under it didn’t allow the bass to have a decent recordable sound, (yes, the initial plan was to go deep into the bass processing possibilities started with the Commotus album). An op-1 replaced the bass, and having in mind some Spaghetti Western soundtracks or the North Star soundtrack by [Philip] Glass, it ended up being heavily arpeggiated.
With your Guest Mix, you talked about resonating with moving images, about feeling your way around films that have impacted your work. You mention Godard as having an influence this time around. Which of his films played a role, and how did this effect your writing?
I wanted to have an external element that could suggest changes of narrative. I selected some films that have fragmented or radical editing, psychological violence, narrative ambiguity. I’d say that the most important ones end up being Deserto Rosso by Antonioni, Hour of the Wolf and Persona by Bergman, Sans Soleil by Marker, Daydream by Tetsuji Takechi… I was just playing them without sound while working on the album, and sometimes I was putting the volume up while playing back an idea I was working on; some nice suggestions came out of that methodology.
The accompanying press release shares an almost sinister tone; there are references to darkness, ambiguity, distress, and emotional depth. How entrenched are these feelings in your recording process?
Timelessness. I was working and living in the same space, I was having an extremely intermittent sleep cycle, there was almost no difference between being awake or asleep, almost no difference between working and thinking, internal silence didn’t exist at all, delirium. Two hours of sleep, two hours of work, repeatedly, could be a standard day, and I wasn’t fighting that, if that was the way the album had to occur I was letting that be. It felt right at that moment.
The track we are premiering here, “Glosolalia,” is a prickly introduction to the sound of Syzygy. It echoes the eeriness of your trailer and makes for quite a shocking alteration from where you left off with “Batholith.” What can you share about your idea behind “Glosolalia” as the introductory track?
Alma turns on a light, sits and looks at you straight in the eye and starts saying: “Well, there is one thing I’ve wondered, Are you in a hurry? I’d like to ask you something, it’s like this…”
This is the last scene from Hour of the Wolf, and from where the lyrics of “Glosolalia” depart.
I was once standing in my noisy balcony in Barcelona and I was listening to this track by Felix Kubin called “Der Bleiche Beobachter.” From that moment, I decided I wanted to play a lot with dynamics on this record. I wanted to have certain sharp and pointy sounds here and there, or sounds appearing and disappearing slowly, once ensconced in a certain level, another level comes. “Glosolalia” contains one of my favorite “hurting” sounds, appearing at 1:35.
Lucrecia Dalt’s Syzygy is out October 15 via Human Ear Music.