Published Jun 11, 2019We've long been fascinated by the relationship between world travel and art. Those who've seen more of the world tend to come away from the experience with deeper insights; it informs their art, and when an artist is able to translate their perspective — regardless of the medium — the effect can be impressive.
Sophia Saze is a remarkable example. Born in Tbilisi, Georgia, she and her family became political refugees. It was an itinerant childhood, living across multiple countries (Canada, Russia and France among them). Despite the challenges that came with it, Saze received both classical music and dance training.
Her latest, the first of a two-part release under the title Self, demonstrates the powerful combination of a well-travelled perspective with skilled execution. The fact that she's moved on from her classical roots to electronic music adds a further degree of currency to her work.
Self – Part 1 is not a long recording; at just 23 minutes, it will end before you want it to. Only one of its 14 tracks lasts beyond three minutes; nine come in under two minutes.
This is clearly intentional. The music interrupts itself constantly (perhaps a reflection of her disjointed upbringing), and disjointed beats mix with dark ambient sounds and samples lifted from family VHS tapes and Soviet-era cartoons.
Stylistically, she borrows from Burial to an extent, but the music has such presence that there's no reason to hold that against her. Saze has delivered a richly absorbing record that should build real excitement about Part 2, due later this year. (Kingdoms)