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coverpic flag Czech Republic - Full Moon 33 - 06/28/99


In her third album Monika Naceva surprised everybody - once again. After the 1994 debut Moznosti tu sou... (There Are Possibilities Here) that earned her the "Czech Patti Smith" title, she followed up with Nebe je rudy (The Sky is Red) two years later, which featured ethno/world-beat-inspired dance music. And now she is taking us into the future...

Actually the beginnings of this project were quite simple. Early into the recording Naceva's band simply fell apart. All that remained salvageable were two hours of tracks put down by the drummer Vladimir Pecha. So Monika teamed up with uncredited English producer DJ Gus, and together they added A. Fernald's post-industrial synth sounds, a sparse bass or guitar here and there, and some condensed poems by Jáchym Topol.

The results are startling. Just like Mimoid, the formless, menacing, nightmarish parts of an ocean protecting its planet in Stanislaw Lem's 1961 si-fi novel Solaris, Naceva's album constantly shifts its shape, drifting in and out of consciousness, coming in waves and receding into the background again:

Démoni pricházejí v noci, mení vsechny veci
demons arrive at night, they change every thing.

Following the example of her second album, she once again opens with the same quote from Friedrich Nietzsche, "What does not destroy me, makes me strong..." to which she adds in a barely audible whisper: " least for awhile, be afraid not." It is followed by Teplo (Warmth), a slowly modulated rhythm riff with wobbly spaceship effects, that gradually speeds up as it moves.

In Tvuj stín (Your Shadow) she whispers a vaguely oriental lament over video-game sounds:
Prosím mej me rád, abych neumrela Please love me so I won't die
jen sílená láska je celá only a crazy love is complete.

Svítání (Daybreak) contains the same ostinato octave jump (here played by a double bass) as Iva Bittová's "Before." And there are other commonalities between these two artists: they both grew up as outsiders in a fairly homogeneous and xenophobic society, and they both turned to avant-garde theater first, before concentrating on music:

svetlo se chveje nez zmizí
light shivers before it disappears,
to svetlo klouze po tvári, tece kuzí
that light slides down a face, flowing through the skin
mení se v krev, v busení srdce mení se ve vydech - it changes into blood, in a heartbeat changes into exhalation -

In her space journey, Naceva was mostly ignored. This succesful discovery of various moods and emotions associated with various sounds required a certain degree of maturity and self-confidence. Mimoid is intriguing; she deserves more respect for taking such an important artistic risk.

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