Suggestive of someone throwing bread bins, rusty motorbikes and saxophones at a swarm of murder hornets as they try to break through some flimsy screen door mesh, the uncompromising and terse metallic dissonance of Perform opens Perform And Surrender, a new collection by Soho Rezanejad.
Such egregious insectoid clatter eventually dispels, as it segues into next composition, the organically themed Surrender. Here she repeatedly and authoritatively orders the listener to “become part of me” before that undulating voice skims across threadbare piano chords and the flutter of birdsong implies some pre-sunrise devotional.
Attentive fans might recognise Rezanejad from her occasional collaborations with dark wave groups such as Lust For Youth and the underrated Croatian Amor. Released on her own Silicone imprint, this record finds the Danish renaissance woman mainly flying solo, though there are irregular cameos by her fellow creatives Asger Valentin, Astrid Sonne, and Cæcilie Trier.
Endeavouring to infuse these eight compositions with some of the life force generated by the diverse cities in which they were conceived and recorded (those locales being Copenhagen, Vienna, Helsingør, Munich, Montreal, Toronto, St Petersburg, Tromsø and Nantes respectively), it is her hometown that seems to be the feisty outlier, the other urban soundscapes conjured billow past absently, seemingly bereft of any substantial populace.
Although the run time is comparatively short, the record is a confident slow burn, its clutch of ambient canticles punctuated with the intermittent muffled stanza or two about lost connections. On Stages I we get the succinct observation: “And if you leave / the absence of your life / begins to grow beside me / like a tree.” Stages II is more of an inebriated ramble by Rezanejad, recalling Steve Reich’s tape experiments if they’d been sung them into an answering machine.
The album draws to a close with the exquisitely pensive Sleepless Solitude. Its mournful vocals and gentle piano notes wrench you in, reverberating down seemingly empty corridors, creating bundles of dust in their wake. A truly striking record then, custom built for introverts and flaneurs alike, one whose delights you’ll quickly succumb to.