Alis has spent over a decade exploring the intricacies of performance-oriented club music, releasing on labels like Don’t Be Afraid and Planet Mu, and becoming a staple in the Berlin and London scenes. Out now, Papercuts is her Astral Plane Recordings debut, comprised of five lush, intimate tracks that are both entirely removed from a dancefloor-context, yet deeply preoccupied with groove and movement.
Honed at her Sunday System nights at London’s Rye Wax, Alis’ interdisciplinary practice comes to the fore on Papercuts with vocals extending far beyond their linguistical potential into a broader, more textural realm. Songs like “Status” and “BCC: me” walk the line of sonority and dissonance, nearing the precipice of abstraction without falling into the abyss. “Papercuts” and “Water” on the other hand offer a more concise narrative vision, proffering a version of hookwriting that fluctuates between meditative and commanding.
Recorded across several continents, it’s no surprise that Papercuts tends to enliven interstitial spaces and Alis’ unique disposition makes the cerebral accessible. Papercuts is out now on APR and will be available as digital EP and full color cover 12”.
Alis – Papercuts
APR115 | Out Now
Digital | 12″
Recorded in advance at the Close Up of the Serene HQ in Milwaukee. A few forthcoming APR bits from Alis, M.D. James and Nunu, plus unreleased Ariel Zetina, Chams, E.M.M.A., MICHAELBRAILEY & IceBoy_Violet, N1L, Oroboro and Utah?. Free Greedo. Track list after the jump.
After recording February’s show in a rain storm that knocked out the studio internet, it was a relief to jump on NTS last Friday on a beautiful day in Highland Park with our good friend Alis. In town from Berlin, we were lucky to get her in the studio before she left for the airport and the resulting 45 minutes is a whirlwind of rhythms, textures and her own distinct edits. The remainder of the show features recent and upcoming music from Suda, Kareem Lotfy, WA?STE, astvaldur, Englesia, 2K, x/o, SHALT, Endgame, Kala & RIOBAMBA, DJ Jayhood, DIVORCE and Liquid City Motors. We also played a load of our favorite Lechuga Zafiro tunes in anticipation of his set at Club Chai x Astral Plane this Saturday at the Starline Social Club in Oakland, CA. If you’re in the area and haven’t grabbed a cheap advance ticket yet you can do so here. Stream the full show below and grab a download here. We’ll be back on April 14.
Since emerging as a solo artist at the tail end of the 2000s, Sabina Plamenova has released a wealth of material, albeit under two separate aliases. The Italian-born, Berlin-based producer has releases on Planet Mu, Don’t Be Afraid and Astro:Dynamics, a curious collection of labels, but ones befitting of each of Plamenova’s respective efforts. Since laying to rest the Subeena project, Plamenova has directed her attention almost exclusively to Alis, most recently releasing the Corporeal LP through Athens, Georgia-based Plus100. Bleary eyed ambient, stunted vocal experiments and earthy synth pop are the sounds du jour on Corporeal, which is both Plamenova’s most emotionally coherent record to date and the clearest synthesis of the different aesthetics she’s worked with in the past. That means more of Plamenova’s own voice on Alis tracks, more audio-visual projects and more mixes featuring bizarre collissions of genres and georgraphies.
The Alis project debuted on Plamenova’s own Opit label in 2012 and has touched on Detroit-flavored techno, drone and what could be described as a contemporary update on post-punk in the years since, ideas she’s stuck with and added to in the years since. More recently, a keen taste for the abstract, noisey end of contemporary club music has become Plamenova’s go to mix fodder, pairing Kamixlo, Arca and Angel-Ho with her own hyper-emotional originals and floor filling classics by the likes of Manix, DJ Sneak and Aphex Twin. Hardly a gimmick, the screams and clangs of the former artists tend to mesh flawlessly with Alis’ own productions and form a tenuous, but functional balance with the latter, more linear tracks. And despite the clatter of influences, peers and eras involved, Alis’s original material, tracks like “We are back” and “Excuse Me” (as Subeena), tend to shine through the mix. Plamenova has described the Alis project as her most personal yet and it’s hard to disagree when listening the gorgeous expanses of Corporeal and Things Next Door. Narrowing down on one particular sound has clearly never been of interest to Plamenova and the direction she might take the Alis project next is an exciting premise.