ATILLLA returns with new EP IV
Few months back (February 15th for those who like specifics) I happened across and wrote about III from Portuguese artist ATILLLA. Here we have IV – and it treads close to the path taken by the three previous works (all available via Bandcamp).
My previous piece gave a brief overview of witch house and offered up some of my personal picks of artists doing interesting things with the very open to interpretation genre – so if you want a little bit of context – head there.
How does this IV EP sit then? Well – honestly – very well. It opens on a dull click – a lovely gentile synth drifts in off the wind. A calm and uplifting start. A false start as the textures soon fall into the dark hole forming on the dungeon floor. The descent begins with IV.2 – a ghostly drone rears her head – the distorted snares crackle across the murky atmosphere.
Visual metaphors are part and parcel of describing music – it gives some kind of ledge from which others can hang. Not everyone can describe music as a pure form – in terms of its actual musicality. I can’t. I’m not a professionally trained, or otherwise, musician. I am in some sense a student of music – but from a creative rather than academic viewpoint. My point is this, and there is a point. It is very difficult to describe to people music such as that which ATILLLA makes, and that other “witch house” practitioners practice, without falling into the trap of using spooky, ghostly, ‘hauntological’ terms – in the same way that it is hard to describe music that has funk and groove without saying either word. It’s part of what makes those sounds fit that genre description.
What I will say about IV is that the EP works as a collective whole – designed to be consumed from IV.1 to IV.9. Some cuts work solo (IV.4 a highpoint – literally) but the strength of the beautiful dark, fragile/hard sounds are best heard together. End to end. IV.6 is fantastic – that massively Jarre like synth – with driving 4/4 – sits on the shadow side of the dancefloor.
For those of who like music a bit out there, raw round the edges, and less conventional in it’s structure then IV and the work of ATILLLA will probably be quite pleasing to your ears – it is to mine.
Everything played by Miguel Béco
Original image for the artwork by Tiago Freitas