Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith - The Mosaic Of Transformation

  • The American synth whisperer gets meditative on her most beautiful record yet.
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  • "This album is my expression of love and appreciation for electricity," Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith says of her new LP. The American artist primarily uses the Buchla Music Easel, whose mechanism is converting electricity into sound. Smith, who primarily uses the Buchla Music Easel, is one of the most prominent alchemists when it comes to turning electric pulses through wires and circuitry into gushing, burbling, naturalist sounds. She realized the magical nature of sound during the recording of The Mosaic Of Transformation. Practicing improvised movements every day, she tried to visualize frequencies with her body, creating what she calls a "visual language." On this album, this bodily exercise bleeds into her music, as her compositions become weightless, freeform clouds of sound. Though it comes many years later, the The Mosaic Of Transformation feels like a companion to Smith's yoga-inspired album, which first came out in 2013 and was reissued last year. Where Smith's vocals would ground tracks like "An Intention" in the past, here they're just another layer of the sublime, hanging like fog. Each track only has one or two phrases, and they merge together into a choir of overlapping voices, words and syllables. "Be kind to one another, we're calming together," she intones over an artificial orchestra of MIDI woodwinds and droning organ on "Remembering." The album's approach is exemplified in its two standout tracks, "The Steady Heart" and "Carrying Gravity." "The Steady Heart" moves with an eccentric, uneven rhythm while "Gravity" paints in slow, methodical strokes, like the graceful dancer in the video for non-album track "Becoming Ferromagnetic." The Mosaic Of Transformation floats by in a pleasant haze that culminates in "Expanding Electricity," the most expansive song in her catalogue. A blooming masterpiece, it unfurls with mallet percussion, bells and other ringing sounds. "How can I help to serve so you can do what you do?" sings Smith, a line which feels directed towards her synthesizer. "I feel it—can you feel it expanding? I hear it—can you hear it expanding?" These questions trigger a flood of sound, from cello-like hums to arpeggios that blast like fireworks, a dazzling display of synth prowess. Though it finds Smith at her most reserved, The Mosaic Of Transformation feels like a breakthrough, melting the pop-savvy hooks of her past records into one gorgeous, rarefied sound, as invigorating and smooth as electricity flowing through circuits.
  • Tracklist
      01. Unbraiding Boundless Energy Within Boundaries 02. Remembering 03. Understanding Body Messages 04. The Steady Heart 05. Carrying Gravity 06. The Spine Is Quiet In The Center 07. Overflowing 08. Deepening The Flow Of 09. Expanding Electricity