Lee Yi - Hayví [Midira - 2022]
Well, fleshed out and majestic, Lee Yi's latest collection of soundscapes, Hayví, comes via Midira Records on an extremely limited run of 50 clear turquoise tapes. Spread over four pieces with a bonus digital-only track, Yi's newest compositions carry a lot of heavy depth while still representing an open and vast airiness. Almost like musical deconstruction and decay, Hayví feels like what music feels like at the periphery of its wave.
Opening with the slowly moving, entangling "Air Turbulences," Yi sets the stage for a lot of interpretation for the listener. This isn't done by densely packed layers and microscopic changes, but rather through an open, airy approach;the listener naturally tries to predict where the song will go, which space(s) it will fill, and what will next emerge from the frothy base. Given ample room to expand, Hayví feels limitless, but Yi keeps a firm grasp as tour guide & architect. "Vertical Clouds" brings the listener on a side to side, stereo panning journey through the troposphere, higher and higher, leaving the Earth and thick construction far below. Lightly layered and easily traversed, this flight has Yi introducing a few atmospheric effects into the billow, giving the atmosphere some extra character. The title track, "Hayví," fleshes out more of the low level, earthier flight. Wind turbulence and synthesized choral sounds add depth and character, and also a speed and movement to the (relatively) short composition. Closing with "Variable Intensity Rain," the album puts all the pieces together for one thick, final foray into the atmosphere. Starting a bit more cinematic than the previous pieces, the closer leaves the worldly sounds behind and brings in some distant, sweeping highs that echo the sounds of angels.
Lee Yi's latest, Hayví, shows the artist with some ethereal soundscapes that have a nice bite to them. Not too airy to let them drift away, but open enough to encourage dreaming, thought, and analysis (what's to come, what could have been, what further shapes could emerge). Four tracks (with a digital reprise) of sonic sweetness, this atmospheric excursion is a delightful time away from our daily world. Head by here for more infoPaul Casey