♫♪  Muyassar Kurdi - “I’m Not Really Here I’m Just Going Through the Motions”

Multi-instrumentalist Muyassar Kurdi flits across the Chicago scene as a benevolent fixture of DIY shows, informal house jams, and magick rituals, glimpsed in the corner of a dim room swaying under a veil to the rhythms pouring from the PA. Her own solo output under her given name and the Humminbird moniker spans a wide range of drone, noise, and ambient experimentation, animated by her keening vocal delivery and the tones of her autoharp processed into sheets of reverbed caterwaul. Her irregular tunings and heavy effects manipulation render the autoharp an atonal self-accompanist, possessed of fine-grain details and a mix-consuming dynamic range that fixes our attention somewhere between claustrophobic discomfort and liberation. Kurdi’s voice escapes in a theatrical bellow that evokes Diamanda Galás’s plague mass invocations as it floats over the din in clear and ringing tones.

“I’m Not Really Here I’m Just Going Through the Motions,” a cut from her forthcoming full-length White Noise, matches Kurdi’s voice and autoharp with the clattering percussion of Michael Kendrick, sinking deeper into a rarefied gloom with each chanted phrase and burst of blown-out strumming. The track’s video, directed by Julia Dratel, places Kurdi in a forest habitat, and twists her physical form into a collage of overlaid bodies that each gesture to us from a different temporal plane. Kurdi betrays no self-consciousness in her movements as she spirals in place, strokes a mirror, and strides off into the distance. She treats the natural landscape as another instrument, tracing long nails across branches as if each fragment of bark removed constitutes another note cast into the abyss.

• Muyassar Kurdi: http://muyassarkurdi.com

Chocolate Grinder

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.

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