- The former Hype Williams member visits the border of music and sound.
- This is a hard one to get a handle on. The latest album from Lolina, the artist formerly known as Inga Copeland, real name Alina Astrova, is a six-track meditation on experimental music that contains basically no lyrics, supporting text or visual cues. Astrova, who was part of Hype Williams with Dean Blunt, is hardly an artist who signposts her art and her intentions. Recent albums like Live In Paris and The Smoke were sly, tangled commentaries on themes like immigration and life in London. Strange and subversive as her music was, though, the lyrics often left a trail of breadcrumbs.
Should we view Who is experimental music? as a Dadaist integration of what, exactly, constitutes experimental music? Three tracks in the middle, each lasting less than a few minutes and possibly based on the same sample, do exactly as they say—"Skipping," "Glitching" and "Strobing." There's very little here, but they aren't without discernible qualities. "Glitching" has a curiously infectious bounce, and "Strobing" sounds like Squarepusher reduced to an essence. "Good or bad," a chaotic beat track that sounds like it was recorded in a cupboard, could simply be asking us if we feel anything, a key question when we reach the border between music and sound.
Or are we being trolled? Astrova, like her former collaborator Blunt, has always seemed less of a theorist or critic and more of an iconoclast or contrarian. The ground beneath your feet, like the beat on the opening track, "Let go" (the only one where we hear her voice), always feels unstable. There's nothing here that comes close to the substantiality of The Smoke, a kind of deeply warped pop record she released last year. But perhaps the point is, simply, that we're here considering these questions.
01. Let go
02. Good or bad
06. Who is experimental music