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Music

Tanya Tagaq: Animism

One of the most radically bewildering symbioses of voice and field recording I've ever heard.


Tanya Tagaq

Animism

Label: Six Shooter
US Release Date: 2014-05-27
UK Release Date: Import
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Tanya Tagaq is an Inuk throat singer. She's unusual in that she sings alone, whereas Canadian throat singing, unlike the Central Asian kind, is traditionally performed in pairs, an enunciation game. Tagaq has transformed it into a personal art-shamanism. I haven't listened to her last studio album in a while, but if my memory is good then it was more stripped-back than this one, which is a tour de force, and contains one of the most radically bewildering symbioses of voice and field recording I've ever heard: track five, "Rabbit". The animal is in the open, it's aware of the dangerous, massive world around its tight little body and it listens so fiercely that it can hear itself chewing. You're positioned inside the inhuman skull of this lagomorph. Animism as a whole pays close attention to physical placement and pressure. It's rare to hear a musician focus so raptly on the conditions of embodied life: the enclosure by the environment surrounding us, and the freedom to exercise the complexity of flesh that is, and isn't, ourselves.

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