If you are looking to explore a ‘body of work’ rather than a plain old back catalogue then Christina Vantzou’s CV will see you right. The composer, artist and experimental film-maker has been engaged in the refinement of sound and vision since her 2004 collaborative release ‘The Dead Texan’ with Adam Wiltzie (Stars of the Lid). Inspired further by touring with the late Mark Linkous/Sparklehorse and relocating to Brussels, Vantzou has since then steadily immersed herself in a series of lengthy projects lovingly documented on the seminal Kranky label.
Those recordings, each released with careful regularity from 2010’s ‘No.1’ to ‘No.4’ in 2018 then supplemented by re-imagined, remix collections, have rightly built her reputation as a key contributor in the field of ambient-classical music. So news of a forthcoming new album, resolutely distinguished as ‘No.5’ and available through Kranky on 11th November brings more than a flutter of anticipation.
Sculpted from a mass of base material that had been gathering since 2020, Vantzou withdrew to the small Greek island of Ano Koufonisi and honed in on shaping new forms. That location’s resonance with her family heritage and the solitude of the music making process has lead the composer to reflect that ‘No 5’ feels ‘almost like a first album’. Something deeply personal is promised, something more fluid and less defined but still framed in Vantzou’s expressive merging of acoustic orchestration, choral voices and subtle electronics.
Early preview track ‘Reclining Figures’ provides a brief hint of the emotional sweep of the whole album. Following the glide of a tranquil synth scale, organ toned and horizon bound, with a soft vocal drone for foundation, the track shimmers with a melodic aura. It’s a brief encounter but one that you inevitably will want to extend….Christina Vantzou’s ‘No 5’ is waiting.
Pre-order your copy of ‘No 5’ by Christina Vantzou from your local record store or direct from: https://christinavantzou.bandcamp.com/album/no-5