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coverpic flag Italy - Full Moon 146 - 08/16/08

Elisa Luu
Floating Sounds EP
Phantom Channel

Net label Phantom Channel's debut compilation blew me away; the second volume was less successful but had some great moments. One of these moments was Rome-based Elisa Luu's stunning "Slow Bass Flute", taken from this beautiful EP, which is thankfully available for free download.

According to the press release, Luu uses flute, saxophone and guitar to create her very distinctive sound, but there's scant trace of the sound of the source instruments. Although clearly the product of careful computer manipulation, the overall feeling is warm and enveloping, evoking wonder and muted joy.

Opener "Starry Night" also features the treated vocals of Chinese singer MousoN, which gasp and whisper across the stereo field. "Arteline" adopts a lonelier, eerier palette of sounds, including crunchy percussive loops, drizzled with what sound like steel drums.

"'Slow Bass Flute" is up next, and is the kind of track that you can happily leave on repeat to lose yourself in its moist, melancholic forest of glistening drones. It's a simultaneously sad and hopeful sound, with a wonderfully emotive palette of tones. Simply gorgeous.

"R3Son8" has less of a discernible melody, but its glitchy, plucked string sounds dissolve into a pool of sustained tones, drawing this EP to a close on an tentative, ambiguous note that leaves you begging for more - so you hit play again to explore these minutely-detailed 15 minutes anew.

On the evidence of this EP, Elisa Luu is an astonishingly talented artist, crafting immersive and emotive soundfields with ease. Fingers crossed that she can muster an album of similar quality sometime soon.

Copyright © 2008 Tim Clarke e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Elisa Luu articles/reviews: Chromatic Sigh, Enchanting Gaze, Se fosse per me, Shebeen, The Garden, Un Giorno Sospeso.

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