- The cover of Pan Daijing's Lack has a photograph, by Ralf Marsault, of Daijing, head thrown back with her throat in full display. It seems to reference a 1929 photograph, called Anatomies, by the surrealist artist Man Ray, where the viewer is also confronted by a woman's neck. The sense of unease in both images recalls the psychological concept of the uncanny—that is, the strangely familiar—and so, too, does Daijing's debut album.
The catharsis of performance has always been central to Daijing's musical practice. "I saw myself being this absurd, mad person 'acting' out the sounds," she has said. Perceiving herself as a conduit for her heavy, strange machine sonics, punctuated by haunting human voices, Daijing channels two years of field recordings and live improvisation across several countries in Lack, an album that retains the immediacy and raw energy of her theatrical live shows.
Her music often resonates like a seedy warehouse bathed in red light. But unlike her previous output, such as A Satin Sight from January, Lack's red light seems to expose dusty corners and dying insects, as opposed to the human bodies that might thrash to her industrial techno at 5 AM.
"Practice Of Hygiene" is the album's apex. Spoken word devolves into gasps, moans and retches. Daijing has said she focuses on sound rather than music, which is most clear on tracks like "Phenomenon" and "Plate Of Order," where she channels her energy into unsettling plucked strings, operatic vocals and crashing sounds over haunting drone. It's only on the closing track, "Lucid Morto," that Lack releases you from its psychic grip, with tinnitus-attuned Buchla and swarming synths.
Despite falling somewhere on the noise music spectrum, there is an odd sense of calm throughout Lack. Daijing presents a dream, the plot of which, after waking, you can't quite piece together. Its walls of sound become etched onto your mind's surface. It's a vision that lingers in your psyche.
02. A Loving Tongue
03. Practice Of Hygiene
04. Plate Of Order
05. Act Of The Empress
06. Come To Sit, Come To Refuse, Come To Surround
08. The Nerve Meter
09. A Situation Of Meat
10. Lucid Morto