Painted Girl - Familiar Trees of the North West
Familiar Trees of the North West
May 22, 2022
Aria of the Planetes begins with heavy distorted bass playing in a hypnotic rhythm. The rough texture of the bass contrasts the clear and organic sound of the piano as it follows along. From the very start, Petridisch creates an atmosphere of wariness. The undulations that the melodic progression follows have one or two moments of uplifting happiness, but most of it is steeped in uncertainty. Into this unpredictable atmosphere, he injects a sharp and eerily accurate vocal layer provided by the vocaloid IA. The vocaloid’s voice provides some amount of humanity to the music, but a demented one, coming to rest somewhere within the realms of an uncanny valley. The instrumentation follows suit as a dissonant arpeggiating synth sound begins to consume the middle frequencies of the track. The vocals separate in two, one following the other in a disorientating cadence.
As we move into the next track, more feelings of unease are communicated through a deep phased sound and eery piano notes. This track speaks to a more melancholic feeling. The vocaloid’s voice travels towards the listener as if she floats somewhere in space, the majesty and gradual growth of the melody having a celestial feel to it. IA hides within the sonic folds of this track a lot more than on the first. Her heavenly high notes sitting just in front of the slow-moving bass sounds.
The 3rd track begins with IA venturing into silence with perfectly pitched and strangely comforting vocal melodies. She reaches up high in her register, dropping down suddenly in a bombastic vocal line. A slow and trebly drum line begins, guiding the low and dominant bass notes. A voice sings from another dimension as we hear gurgled speech underneath the artifical tones of the vocaloid. Each separate part of Petridisch’s songs has a rhythmic quality to it. Slow in tempo, the tracks engage the listener with a methodical progression.
The 4th excursion starts with a piano melody that illustrates some sort of derelict wasteland. The two notes alternating with eachother, following this tune of condemnation sounds like it should be accompanied by a wide shot of a planet on fire. IA begins with another unpredictable melody, almost sounding like a soulless lament. She reaches inhumanly high as the piano pirouettes into an alternate scale. The piano and vocal melodies hover above a fizzling bass sound that does not relent throughout the whole song.
Applause greets us. As if this wild trip through the cosmos was merely a performance on a stage. IA begins abruptly, her voice curling into a chaotic distorted cry before resetting itself like the artificial life form she is. The applause at the beginning sets this last track up to have slightly unsettling connotations. Like a glimpse into a future devoid of human creativity, in which we merely become spectators as impossibly clean and artificially actioned piano notes lull an android program into song.
Petridisch welcomes us to this world mercilessly. The crisp production and tendency for minimalistic layering allows us to inspect each aspect of each song clearly and without obscurity. Her voice laps unnaturally from note to note, but having no other option, we invest ourselves into her singing as if she were real. In these 5 short songs, the artist lays the groundwork with beautiful production, allowing him to explore where the line between the artificially coded melody and the organically born music really is.
Download/purchase on cassette here: https://girlygirlmusik.bandcamp.com/album/aria-of-the-planetes