Agathe The Blues
In my top 2021 albums! The live at Emmaus-Kirche was enchanting. Contemporary, but so exposed. Some paintings can give you a peek into the depicted character's intimacy, without them being aware that there are external observers. This album grants me that same impression, as if I'd be hidden behind trees looking at a person around a forest pond, singing their heart out, thinking they are alone (...or knowing that they aren't?). Magical!
Sissi Rada is a wonderfully ambiguous personality. One of the best harpists for contemporary classical music in Europe and at same time producer of beautiful abstract electronica songs.
Her album "Nanodiamond" comes out on new Berlin label Kryptox on October 1st. With guest vocals by Lena Platonos. Co-production by Brian Eno on 81948 (2000 OM69) and Andi Toma of Mouse on Mars on Maps and Blueblack Tomb. A futuristic musical work that combines the sweet melancholy of the classical harp with subtle electronic soundscapes and Sissi Rada’s magic voice. You could imagine it in a Stanley Kubrick movie.
Sissi Rada was born in Athens, studied in Amsterdam and Berlin (Universität der Künste) and since then is living in Berlin. Here she is an active part of the new experimental music scene. She is member of the David August Ensemble and makes music for art performances and modern theater.
But apart from the electronic and neo-jazz experiments in the Berlin underground, she also enjoys a substantial career as an established classical harpist. She is a member of Teodor Currentzis’ musicaAEterna orchestra and a frequent collaborator of the Berlin Philharmonic, the Deutsche Oper Berlin and other ensembles from the classical world.
Now she recorded this album. It became a melancholic travel though a universe of romantic harp atmospheres, fragile melodies, subtle impressionistic vibes - based on Lo-Fi electronic sounds, noisy textures, a raw sound design and sometimes almost robotic beat constructions. A melancholic voice and the subtle harmonical and melodic structures, that sometimes catch you immediately, and will sometimes only be understood after a 2nd or 3rd listen, add that magic touch.
It is music that you probably never heard before.
Sissi Rada experiments with her harps, her voice, her electronic equipment. And she has this sensible, different approach of producing with the electronic equipment. A way of working the electronic instrumentation in a way that only musicians with a huge music knowledge and compositional ability have. Sissi is not a "professional electronic producer". She works intuitive. Less rational and technical. But she makes almost everything by herself. And that combination of the highest level background with own way to use the sounds and machines…makes the difference.
Probably that’s the reason why artists like Brian Eno, Mouse on Mars and Lena Platonos chose to work with Sissi on this album.
How did this come about? Greek music legend Lena Platonos has been accompanying Sissi artistically and as a friend for a long time. It’s the Greek connection. Her protégée. While Andi Toma of Mouse on Mars is living in the same area of Berlin as Kryptox label head Mathias Modica. In Kreuzberg. Coffee talks can bring people together. The result is Andi Toma production help for Maps and Blueblack Tomb.
And Brian Eno!? Sissi met Brian while both were working in Paris for the world premier of Ilya Khrzhanovsky’s ambitious film / installation project, DAU. They ended up performing together at a late night impromptu live performance involving Eno and members of Orchestra MusicAeterna at Théâtre de la Ville. He liked Sissi’s music and invited her to his studio. Their collaboration "just happened” when she improvised on a keyboard at the studio. The result is 81948 (2000 OM69). A spaceful and abstract work that adds a deeper element to the whole album. It’s in the last part of the tracklist as it's the conclusion of a sound travel that starts with more accessible tracks.
Songs like Athena, Debris or Maps (with Lena Platonos): Sweet, moody atmospheres on sizzling sound architectures. Made from randomly sampled sounds and other bits & pieces. Sometimes the instrumentation is complex. Things happening. Then again they get empty and spheric. Sissi Rada’s music can fly you into endorphin spaces. Songs like Ichthys or Too La: Hard to describe music. The longer you listen, the more you get absorbed. The finale of the album with compositions like Blueblack Tomb, Sorrow and Elegierig take us a far out ….the music opens even more... there are almost no structures anymore.
Sissi Rada’s album is a flight through a space of beautiful, melodic and harmonic concepts and sounds, often based in the impressionistic heritage that is a favorite of Sissi Rada (as well as many of the great Russian classical composers) based on unconventional structures and sounds. Sissi Rada’s music is special.
released November 19, 2021
All tracks composed and produced by Sissi Rada except:
Track 2 produced by Max Trieder
Tracks 5,6 composed and produced by Max Trieder
Track 10 composed and produced by Brian Eno
Tracks 4,11 produced and mixed by Andi Toma
Tracks 1,2,3,5,6,7,8,9,12,13 mixed by Max Trieder
Nektarios Stamatelos on ancient flutes (tracks 4,5)
Raplh Heidl on sax (tracks 4,8)
Guido de Flaviis on sax (track 9)
Georg Wendt on cembalo (track 12)
Like so many others, this came like a bolt out of the blue and, even though it's well before payday, I had to have this astonishing album on vinyl to prove it exists. The feel of the tunes makes me feel like the Impressions do, Curtis Mayfield, the big spaces and instinctive horns and stuff drifting in and out. Great grooves and I can see lots of ghosts nodding along to this with big smiles on their faces. At last! Anthony Cottrell
Gorgous album offering a great mix between space ambience and jazz. Reminds me of Archie Pelago / Cosmo D. The experiment definitely works. The only track I don't dig at all is Space 6 (a bit too off for the rest of the album), but Space 8 on the other hand is some of the best music that I have ever heard. Harmony in itself. What a great find! Dennis Albrecht