Blak Mass is the debut album from Naretha Williams, an accomplished experimental audio artist, sound engineer and composer. Immense and immersive, this album stands as a rare artistic and technical achievement.
Commissioned as a live performance for the Melbourne Town Hall Grand Organ, here is a collection of original works never before heard on an instrument of its type, and performed in a way that’s never been attempted before.
Williams harnesses the thunder of four storey-high pipes and commands the organ’s wires and keys using an array of synthesisers and sequencers. Across the record we hear deep droning chords that swirl and resolve around cavernous techno beats and eerie electronic signals. It represents an extension of Williams’ existing CRYPTEX project, which explores themes of identity, place and body.
Williams is a Wiradjuri woman of mixed lineage, born and based in Melbourne on the Sovereign Land of the Kulin Nation, Victoria, Australia, and Blak Mass is described as a reflection on “the city’s jarring civic history and the impact of colonisation on its First Peoples and Land. Blak Mass considers the Grand Organ as a significant symbol of European domination and reaches deep in to the psyche of the instrument to create a haunting, avant-garde sound work.“
Blak Mass by Naretha Williams is out August 14 via Heavy Machinery Records.
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