ONE ON ONE
ALBUM WARP RELEASE: MARCH 6, 2000 REVIEW: MARCH 10, 2000
As almost any Warp release, Mira Calix' debut album "One on One", operates within the field of soulful electronics. But what makes this release so special is not only the fact that it's performed and composed by a woman, but also it's close kinship to the purely avant garde.
Theorists like Steve Reich and Bruce Gilbert occasionally come to mind and so do label mates Boards of Canada and Autechre. Uncanny vocals wrapped in sometimes childlike soundscapes create an atmosphere not far from the more naive explorations of Aphex Twin. But beyond these obvious references you find a strong personal vision, verbally only captured with contradictive descriptions such as "harsh softness" or "clinically organic".
There is also a great deal of melancholy carved all over "One on One". Whether in a stumbling piano or through a stranded voice, you can sense a vast, permanent loneliness that enhances every moment of frailty. Tribal rhythms invite Mother Nature to more than one visit and you also get the strange feeling of having the origin of mankind within audible reach.
Since the experiment of Mira Calix should undoubtedly be experienced as a unity, a closer examination of it's different parts can sometimes be a less rewarding venture. But you must be a quite insensitive person to refuse her vurnerable soul any communication with your own inner realities.