PRINCESS CENTURY offers up a bonus selection of electronic delights…
With the release of 2015’s Progress, Princess Century (aka Maya Postepksi) had successfully stepped up from her debut album Lossless as well as demonstrated that the Toronto musician’s work with the likes of Austra and Trust weren’t the sole limits of her talents.
The tracks on new EP Rendezvous were recorded during the original Progress sessions, but had been shelved from inclusion as they didn’t quite fit the vibe of Progress. “The tracks didn’t quite work on the album” according to Maya, “but I felt they shared a weird Krauty EDM vibe…I love the concept they tied in with the single, Rendezvous: a meeting with someone that is arranged for a particular time and place and that is often secret.”
‘Robber’ employs buzzy electronica as the foundation for a starkly disconcerting slice of electronica. As with other Princess Century material, the music can offer up a cryptic – at times sinister – feel to them and ‘Robber’ is no exception.
Meanwhile, the warmer tones of ‘Wet’ delivers a more abstract approach with its squelchy synths and layered electronic appeal.
The title track actually has a slighter older heritage than the Progress material, having originally appeared on a Stellar Kinematics compilation back in 2013. Underpinned by a driving synthetic bass, ‘Rendezvous’ has a percussive appeal that offers a nod to the bassy tones of Austra, while also weaving in the sweeping electronic washes of the likes of Jean Michel Jarre. It’s new guise also drops in some additional reedy synth fills to give the tune a much more expansive feel.
To accompany the EP’s release, a new video for ‘Rendezvous’ has also been released directed by Patricia Aldridge (who previously worked with Maya on videos for the likes of ‘Discoset’ and ‘Sunscream’). The psychedelic qualities of the video have a science fiction quality that Aldridge herself describes in part as Maya having “intercourse with the universe”. It’s wild, it’s trippy and it’s brilliant.
Rendezvous is released by Paper Bag Records and is available now.
You can stream the Rendezvous tracks on the Brooklyn Vegan website.
This article originally appeared on the Wavegirl site.
You’d think that between TRUST and AUSTRA, the talented MAYA POSTEPSKI would have all her free time accounted for. So it was somewhat surprising to learn that she’s also embarked on a solo project titled PRINCESS CENTURY…
Releasing a vinyl-only album titled Lossless in April 2013, Postepski demonstrated a flair for the experimental. Those expecting Lossless to be retreads of Austra/Trust material are probably going to be disappointed. Instead, this is Postepksi exploring sound and composition.
Lossless (inspired in part by the Charles Manson murders) shows Maya experimenting with a variety of approaches to electronic music and mixing, often with dark overtones. ‘Le Rayon Vert’ pulls in video game tunes and acts in some ways as an overture for the album, while ‘Palace’ gives us a brooding drum machine-driven track augmented with vague vocals.
It’s clear that Maya is less interested in conventional song composition and more interested in exploring sound forms and styles. As a result, many of the vocal elements tend to be obscured in washes of echo (as with ‘Twin House’) or used for rhythmic effect (such as on the ominous tones of ‘PiG’)
A clearer take on Maya’s pipes is evident on ‘Giving It Away’ while ‘Love and Money’ (a collaboration with Danish electronic musician Heidi Mortenson) presents a track featuring the metallic-sounding percussion that Maya uses to great effect on Austra material.
Meanwhile, ‘Crummy Bones’ is more of a lo-fi percussion-driven track with brief synth interludes. ‘Das Schlimmste’ paints a soundscape in battleship grey for an electronic composition that hints at menace. The synthetic soundscape and beats of ‘Heaven Rock’ presents one of Lossless’ finest moment with its electronic melodies and dreamlike moods. At times it sounds like Kraftwerk playing with triphop!
While no precise details about where Princess Century will be going with the new album, a contribution to a recent Stellar Kinematics compilation suggests a much tighter approach to future material. The track, titled ‘Rendezvous’, offers up a percussive number that could almost be Austra meets Jean Michel Jarre.
A follow-up album (as yet untitled) is scheduled for release in the spring
Text by Paul Browne
2nd January 2014