The duo creates an environment where voice and electronics blend remarkably well, yet one can’t help but notice the staggering range of vocal alchemy on display. — Musicworks, Canada
This album has a program, a beginning, an end, some vast and great moments, some funny moments, this album reflects the perfect harmony between the two artists and this harmony transcends through magnificent songs. — Néomémoire, Québec
Intoxidation is a collaboration between Sarah Albu and Vergil Sharkya’. They evoke jagged post-apocalyptic landscapes where reanimated e-waste beasts roam, and wild locusts feed on mountains of digital detritus. Synths, effects pedals and vocals range from scraping to angelic, from eerily placid to hectic, weaving a dusty neon tapestry of noise.
Vergil Sharkya’ is a musician, composer and sonic explorer working with synthesizers, vocoders, software, analogue and electronic effects, and a unique approach to treating his sonic materials.
Sarah Albu is an experimental vocalist with interest and practice in electronics, theatricality, new music and traditional Balkan singing. Together, they explore meeting points between machine and organic; air and underwater; earth and outer space.
- 1[intro]xidation (2019), 0:20
- 2Mâchoire de sirène (2019), 5:16
- 3Rogue Archaeon (2019), 8:47
- 4coquillage radio vs. ancient sea receiver (2019), 1:00
- 5récepteur de la mer antique vs. radioshell (2019), 1:04
- 6… merely a vehicle for the sauce (2019), 13:25
- 7Letzter Vogel, letztes Lied (2019), 3:11
- 8[outro]xidation (2019), 0:34
- Label: Mikroclimat
- MKR 116 / 2020
- UCC 771028301683
- Total duration: 33:37
Joane Hétu, Maxime Corbeil-Perron, Noam Bierstone, Julie Delisle, Guillaume de Machaut, R2D2
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In the press
What is retro futurism if not a way of seing the future holding on what comes from the past? In Intoxidation, first shared composition between composer Vergil Sharkya’ and the experimental vocalist Sarah Albu, there is a large number of datas that were entered and reprogramed. We can feel here influences from concrete musique and electronic music from its beginning around the 60s. But we can also hear some almost classical vocal lines, as in Mâchoire de sirène for example. A ‘déjà vu’ impression which bring us back when future was bright and clean. But as we dig in the listening, we understand the two artists want to bring us much further. We understand we are facing here a reinterpretation of the classics and a collage, as in visual arts, of diverse sound schemes. Superposed in many layers, this is a very rich sound palette. The collage reminds us of the surrealism era and, in fact, there is some surrealism in the music and the titles of the pieces. Is this retro futurist surrealism? Of course.
In tracks number 4 and 5: coquillage radio vs. ancient sea receiver and récepteur de la mer antique vs. radioshell the artists play with our ears. Hard to say if this is the same tracks played differently, simply switching from one ear to the other, giving more volume to one track then to the other, but this little virtuosity trick makes you smile and makes you feel, true or not, you suddenly understand what is happening.
… merely a vehicle for the sauce is the most ambitious piece of the album. In this song, Sarah Albu uses the entire spectrum of sound a human can possibly produce with the voice. Sarah Albu’s voice is remarkably pure, she uses very little vibrato, a white voice that suddenly cracks or seem to diffract. From pure arpeggios to meows, vibration noises made with the lips to throat singing, etc. The electronic are there to accompany and amplifie. Here is what can be consider an aria from the 21st Century. This is a virtuoso music, there is a mini-drama, a story, so the technical and sensitive aptitudes of the singer are fully implied. Both the performance and the composition make this a very successful piece.
This album has a program, a beginning, an end, some vast and great moments, some funny moments, this album reflects the perfect harmony between the two artists and this harmony transcends through magnificent songs.
Parmi les dernières réalisations du label Mikroclimat, celles de Léa Boudreau et du duo Sarah Albu / Vergil Sharkya’ présente quelques similitudes: une sorte de zapping, de pot-pourri de sons divers qui se télescopent, parfois de manière fugace. Un bric-à-brac sonore souvent joyeux (même lorsque les sons pourraient être anxiogènes par leur nature), rehaussé dans le second cas par la voix de Sarah Albu. Un travail étonnant de Léa Boudreau, qui jusqu’à maintenant a plutôt œuvré dans la chanson rock au sein d’une formation, The Bright Road (cf. l’album Océan). Sarah Albu, elle, est vocaliste et voyage entre les polyphonies des XVe et XXe siècles (Stimmung de Stockhausen) et l’approche expérimentale et bruitiste: on note un travail avec Architek Percussion (cf R&C No. 112) et le compositeur acousmatique James O’Callaghan. Son partenaire Vergil Sharkya’, originaire d’Autriche, a travaillé avec Philip Jeck et explore plus particulièrement synthétiseurs, logiciels, effets électroniques et analogiques; on a pu le croiser au sein de l’Ensemble SuperMusique.