April 1, 2010

Mira Calix - Skimskitta (2003)

With her second LP, Skimskitta, Chantal Passamonte further sheds her former Warp Records publicist and current Mrs. Sean "Autechre" Booth identity to emerge more fully as Mira Calix. That is not to say Skimskitta heralds a voice previously unheard. Passamonte’s sometimes demo-like drifts build a circular boardwalk above recognizable shifting of artists such as Erik Satie, Seefeel, Philip Glass and Mike Ink’s Gas. But gone for the most part is the not-always-favorably-compared Autechre-like robo-funk schizophrenically dotted on Calix’s last full-length, One On One. Skimskitta is starkly personal, increasingly hermitic, resulting in only a handful of immediate rewards ("Woody," "I May Be Over There (But My Heart Is Over Here)," "You Open Always") and an investment demand. The shuffling stillness of the pause-free 21 tracks stands as Suffolk, England-based ambient isolationist contrast to Warp’s Sheffield, England-influenced piston-pong trademarks. Voices — of animates and instruments — whisper over gently scraping rake-through-rock-garden rhythm. While One On One had some memorable moments, Skimskitta is 61 moments of Passamonte’s longing memory.

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