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Aralkum Aralas

by Galya Bisengalieva

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When composer and violinist Galya Bisengalieva first conceived her 2020 album Aralkum, it was to be a meditation on ecological loss and grief, both metaphorically and literally through the shrinking of the Aral Sea, one of the worst man-made environmental disasters on the planet. Water dried up, fish disappeared and the surrounding communities collapsed; Bisengalieva’s sombre, mournful drones sound a furious death knell not only of the natural world, but humanity’s connection to it, now seemingly severed for good.

Aralkum Aralas is a deepening of the wound, and yet it’s a remix album of great hope — if not in humankind’s ability to instigate radical structural change, then certainly in wide berths of artistic expression about our dying ecosystems. Where Bisengalieva unfurled misty ambiences, Coby Sey and Nazira see potentialities of rhythmic energy — ominous joy, even. Jing draws out an icy trip-hop soundscape and CHAINES emphasises the dreamlike nature of the music in a sublime, delicate rework. Footwork game changer Jlin clips and snips violin squeaks into a percussive landscape of mourning, while Moor Mother drenches the bilious, gaseous rise of reverb-laden sound with some fire and brimstone lyricism.

Whilst offering a fascinating addendum to the original work, Aralkum Aralas also succeeds in demonstrating the vital artistry of Bisengalieva herself, an artist seeking likeminded sonic philosophers of the end times without recourse to trivial genre games.


released October 15, 2021


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Galya Bisengalieva London, UK

Galya's music is deep and atmospheric. The Kazakh-British composer and violinist centres unyielding drones as she weaves across genres like folk, ambient, classical, and electronic music. She made her first two records, EP ONE & TWO, on her own NOMAD Music Productions. In 2020 she released Aralkum on One Little Independent Records.

“Galya…a powerful force in new and primordial music” The Quietus
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