Via Tania is the recording moniker of Tania May-Bowers, a singer songwriter from Chicago via Australia. The title track of this EP, True, is a re-recording of a track from her debut LP Under A Different Sky. In the mid 90s after the genre defining debuts from Portishead and Tricky, this would have lazily been dubbed Trip Hop. Sure, it contains elements of that sound - roughed up jazz breaks, a sultry vocal performance and a buzzing keyboard - yet it's lighter than that; Tania's vocals float like whipped cream atop the mesh of treated guitars and sub bass. The Best Thing relocates the Velvet Underground's Venus In Furs inside Bjork's scatter gun muse.
The EP's third track is a remix of the LP track In The Deep. It's remodelled by John Herndon of Tortoise. It's also renamed Felt Cave. I have never heard the original track but this remix is wonderful: A blend of glitchtronica rhythms, flickers of digital flotsam and computer static are welded onto solar flares of splintered guitar. The sound of Lee Scratch Perry's Black Ark mixing desk submerged in Ketamine. Snatches of vocals slowly surface and dissipate like whispered names in dream before the slippery aquatic bass locks into a jerky rhythm. The vocals samples emerge again, cut up, mashed and strip mined. A lullaby refracted through a womb. Astounding.
The album version of True closes the EP and is a sweet acoustic guitar driven ditty not a million miles removed from Beth Orton. Wonderful and absorbing. I'm off to get the LP.