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Maya Shenfeld – Under The Sun | Album Reviews

staticwire | April 2, 2024
Maya Shenfeld Under The Sun

Maya Shenfeld’s latest album, “Under The Sun,” is a monumental work of ambient electronic music that delves deep into themes of climate change, decay, and the fragility of our world. Released through Thrill Jockey, this album showcases Shenfeld’s mastery of sound design and composition, solidifying her position as one of the most innovative composers in the genre.

The album opens with “A Guide For The Perplexed,” a haunting track that sets the tone for the rest of the record. The droning woodwind sounds combined with acidic synth tones create a sense of impending doom, giving listeners a glimpse into the desolate landscapes Shenfeld explores throughout the album. Tracks like “Geist” and “On Its Rounds The Wind Returns” further solidify this sense of unease and uncertainty, with textures that are both beautiful and foreboding.

“Interstellar” provides a brief respite from the darkness, with bright arpeggiators and lush pads that promise hope but ultimately fade away, leaving a sense of longing in their wake. However, it is tracks like “Tehom” and “Sedek” that truly showcase Shenfeld’s ability to evoke emotion and tension through her music. The former sounds like a glitchy nightmare, with computerized transients bouncing off walls, while the latter delves into prepared piano, creating a sense of urgency and chaos.

The album culminates in the stunning “Analemma,” a multi-layered sonic journey that slowly disintegrates into choral voices reverberating in empty space. Shenfeld’s use of decay as a metaphor for the state of our world is both poignant and chilling, echoing the works of artists like The Caretaker and William Basinski.

“Under The Sun” is a powerful and thought-provoking album that speaks volumes without the need for words. Shenfeld’s intricate soundscapes and masterful pacing create a listening experience that is both immersive and cathartic. With this album, Shenfeld proves herself to be a true visionary in the world of ambient music, earning a well-deserved place among the best releases of the year.

Rating: 9/10

Written by staticwire

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