This month’s mixtape comes courtesy of the daring and dazzling all-female multi-instrumentalist chamber music collective Collectress, whose impressive body of work spans an incredibly wide spectrum of artistic expression and myriad multi-arts collaborations. Their beguiling and bewildering compositions first struck us when we heard their 2014 album, Mondegreen. Fluent in both composed contemporary music and free improvisation, they continue to create enchanting and enveloping music with their recently released second album, Different Geographies. So we’re over the moon to have them onboard curating this mix with an exquisite selection of tracks reflecting the many influences that have shaped their own sublime sounds. Press play and drift away.
Steve Reich with Pat Metheny – Electric Counterpoint: II. Slow [Nonesuch Records]
Dmitri Shostakovich – Shostakovich Quartet – String Quartet No. 3 in F, Op. 73: I. Allegretto [Musical Concepts]
Gazelle Twin – Little Lambs [Anti-Ghost Moon Ray]
Sun Ra and His Arkestra & June Tyson – Space Is the Place [Sweet Earth Records]
Alice Coltrane – Journey in Satchidananda (feat. Pharoah Sanders) [UMG Recordings, Inc.]
Smog – Say Valley Maker [Drag City]
Edvard Grieg – Jan Bjøranger & 1B1 – Holberg Suite (for string orchestra), Op. 40; IV Air [Grappa Musikkforlag AS]
Agnes Obel – Citizen of Glass [PIAS]
Keith Jarrett, Jan Garbarek, Palle Danielsson & Jon Christensen – My Song [ECM Records GmbH]
Nils Økland – Månelyst [Rune Grammofon]
Johnny Flynn – The Wrote & The Writ [Mercury Records Limited]
The wait is nearly over and the highly anticipated second album from Collectress, Different Geographies, will see the light of day tomorrow. When the exciting news first emerged last November, the experimental chamber collective enraptured us with the magical and jubilant single ‘Landing’. Now the track has been paired with a video, featuring footage from the carnival celebrations in Metaxourgio, Greece. “The track itself has always alway felt to us like it mixes a big heart and an energetic spirit with something about endurance, continuity and inter-dependence”, explained the band. “Setting it to imagery from the life-force that is carnival seemed like the perfect expression of this.” One of the four multi-instrumentalists sheds more light on it:
“For me they seemed to embody the anarchic spirit of the festival, always jumping and dancing, full of mischief, nature and mystery, a mix of dark and light, challenge and exuberance, traditional and modern, ancient bells and scruffy urban footwear combining in a leaping deafening joyfulness.
Since being in Greece, I’ve thought and read a lot about Greece’s at times complex relationship with its ancient history – a past often essentialised by Northern/Western Europe (think Byron, ‘Elgin’ Marbles, White/Christian/Fortress Europe). I’ve also thought and read a lot about Greece’s geographical position on the borders of Europe, Asia and Africa and its people’s heartbreaking humanity to refugees during the ongoing migrant crisis. Something of all of this seemed to be expressed both in the symbolism of those goat revellers and in the spirit of the carnival. I noticed as we paraded along, the tradition of restaurant and cafe proprietors placing tables outside their establishments, covered with cheese and bread and drinks for the revellers to enjoy for free. I thought of the potential in community, anarchy, kindness and welcome.”
Watch the video below and grab Different Geographies tomorrow through their own imprint Peeler Records.
Different Geographies, the long-awaited new album from Collectress is finally nearing its release date, and they had already enticed us with two magical and beautiful singles, ‘Landing’ and ‘In the Streets, In the Fields’. The collective have now shared a third single, ‘Mauswerk’, a mesmerizing post-classical track with a pulsing Krautrock-infused groove. The track comes with an accompanying video, and they explained the inspiration behind it:
“The film for “Mauswerk” took the experimental abstract animation of Len Lye as its inspiration combined with a nod to the electro pop aesthetics of Kraftwerk. The eventual combination of grids and abstract shapes was an exploration of finding ways to visualise early digital imaging through filming geometric structures found in our local environments. The cut out shapes move as if guided by a series of algorithms, they flow to the music sometimes overlapping, echoing early modernist explorations and experimentations in colour theory.”
Watch the video below and grab the album when it’s out on March 6th through their own imprint Peeler Records.
At the tail end of 2019, Collectress returned with their first new music in nearly six years, and announced a new album following their wonderful 2014 debut Mondegreen. Entitled Different Geographies, the new album arrives on March 6th and they had already shared the magical and gorgeous ‘Landing’ as the first single, which left us eager to hear more new music. Now the quartet have shared a beautiful and beguiling new single called ‘In the Streets, In the Fields’, reportedly “with nods to both psychedelia (particularly 13th Floor Elevators), and the 1937 recording of Virginia Woolf’s “Words””. They explained:
“We liked the sense of the transience of language as evoked by the crackly Woolf recordings, of time passing and of spaces shifting, of being in one place yet another at the same time, in “Different Geographies”. In this technological world of ours, Woolf’s “Words” speaks to us from the past, visionary in suggesting we are mere vessels for language to occur, adapt and move around in. “In the Streets, In the Fields” melodically ‘sets off’ and in some way is doing this too, its simple structure unfolding, shifting and developing over the course of the song.”
Collectress are offering ‘In the Streets, In the Fields’ with an accompanying video, which “include[s] dance as a means to explore and express the nature of the music”, they added. “We each gave our interpretation and filmed ourselves dancing at our own respective ‘different geography’. What you see in the film is a layering of those interpretations to the rhythm and layers of the individual parts of the music, to create an indefinable space that we hope has something recognisable and grounded but that also allows for an element of getting lost.”
Watch the video below.
Different Geographies is out on March 6th through their own imprint Peeler Records.
We fell under the spell of Collectress with Mondegreen, their debut album, which was one of our 15 Album Picks of 2014 and remains an absolute favourite. Nearly six years on, the incredibly talented quartet of Quinta, Rebecca Waterworth, Caroline Weeks and Alice Eldridge, are ready to gift the world with their hugely anticipated second album, Different Geographies. On the new record, the four multi-instrumentalists continue to create enchanting and enveloping music that is both composed and improvised.
“Named in response to the realities of collaboration”, as the press release explains, Different Geographies sees Collectress “look[ing] for new opportunities to create across the separations of time, space and the vibrancies of life,” referring to the many projects they have been involved with over the last few years, including overseas residencies, tours with other bands and motherhood.
We’ll have to wait until March 6th for the album to be released via their own imprint Peeler Records, but we can already wrap our ears in the magical and gorgeous first single ‘Landing’.
London and Brighton natives Quinta, Rebecca Waterworth, Caroline Weeks and Alice Eldridge are the four very talented multi-instrumentalists who make up C O L L E C T R E S S. Their music is both composed and improvised, dazzling and enveloping, made using conventional instruments and other unusual sources and found sounds. We were immediately conquered and fully immersed in the wholly astonishing textures of their music. It goes without saying that we are beyond excited about their debut album, Mondegreen, coming out this Monday March 24th via their own imprint Peeler Records. The album takes its name from an essay by Sylvia Wright published in Harper’s Magazine in November 1954, as the press release explains.
“A Mondegreen is the mishearing or misinterpretation of a phrase as result of a near homophony, in a way that gives it new meaning. Likewise, C O L L E C T R E S S find fruit in mishearings and happy accidents recognising that paths through are sometimes oblique or followed without intention; they flow intuitively from improvisations where the outcome can’t be known but is often far more beautiful than could ever have been planned. Music is a form of recycling where every new player, every new listener, makes new, unique and often very personal meaning from essentially the same set of notes or sounds. This record has been made with four sets of ears making four sets of collaborative hearings and mishearings, and shaping together the paths that flow from them.”
In support of the upcoming album, and having recently performed as part of the Women Of The World Festival at Southbank Centre, C O L L E C T R E S S have announced a number of live shows, starting this Sunday 23rd at the Vortex in London. Check all their other dates here, and go to see them live.
To entice you further, listen to a couple of tracks from the album, ‘Goodbye’, which is inspired by a Katherine Mansfield short story, The Wind Blows, and the charming ‘Spell’.