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Otherworld Mad Wee Light

24th February 2022

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Format Info

LP - white vinyl

Otherworld is an alias of Glasgow-based artist Kay Logan, who with her Time Binding Ensemble album created long-form, neo-classical drone dreamworks and also pummelled venues around the world in punk group Anxiety. With Otherworld, Logan descends into a netherworld of hissy, haunted vignettes created with synths and cassette, resulting in a shadow world brain dance music informed by the UK’s industrial underground and The Residents. Mad Wee Light positively glows with a preternatural cadence, each track a mini-universe that spirals softly at its own pace in the fabric of the album’s whole. It’s an album that further cements Logan’s growing reputation as one of the most inspiring outliers in the underground.

Beginning life as a tape on Kit Records before now being re-pressed on vinyl, Mad Wee Light soundtracks the infinite possibilities of night, recoiling Coil’s fascination with the un or barely seen, the shapes and sounds on the periphery of human sense. What makes Logan’s music so vital in any of its iterations is her dedication to instinct and gut: in Time Binding Ensemble the compositions are rigidly structured in theme but allowed to breathe within the confines. On Mad Wee Light the music stretches in its own universe: Music For Processed Voice warbles on a drone, with escalating mid-frequencies sounding a glacial alarm at the speakers’ head, Be Careful When Out And About has an improvisatory feel, like Coil’s studio trips on Musick To Play In The Dark. Burbling synth noise criss-crossing in the mind’s eye, world building by audio.

Tracks like Real Music hint at Logan’s work as Helena Celle, using processed distortion and buzzy, lo-fi synth loops for a heady new space, the frequencies fizzing like spume on the rocks of the suggested rhythm. Mad Wee Light has a multi-verse of mad wee lights, with tiny, Delia Derbyshiresque fragments like Secret Bass Program slotting in to the album’s rich palette effortlessly. In fact, while the album’s tonalities and emotional cadences recall her other eldritch, gloomed and obscured Otherworld work, the chutzpah and intentional gymnastics of the music, punk and thrown our with gritty inspiration most recall her Helena Celle catalog. The approach is always instinctual even at its most ambient-leaning, as in the triumvirate I Will Wander With You And Ascend To My Solitude which finds the artist completely in tune with her surroundings and practice, submerged and guiding the listener through ever-unfurling, billowing chord clusters.

Even at its most obtuse, Mad Wee Light always feels inspired, the work of an artist looking at whatever form she’s investigating as an outsider, never restrained by any preconceptions or expectations. Quietly, unpretentiously stunning.

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