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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Mirela Ivičević - Scarlet Songs [Kairos Music - 2022]

Scarlet Songs present a selection of five modern ensemble works, which are often weaved with electronics & quirky/ surprise other genre traits/ elements. All making for an often daring, and playful release that constantly keeps you on your toes.

The CD release appears on Austria’s Kairos Music. It comes presented in the labels house style four-panel digipak, which features a stuck-on twenty-seven-page booklet with English & German texts discussing the composer, the pieces offered up here, and the various players taking part in their playing.

Mirela Ivičević is a Croatian composer, performer, and musician who currently resides in Vienna. She has been actively composing work since the early 2010s, and her work is often both unpredictable and atmospheric in its presentation. Presently she only has a few releases to her name- though has seemingly had her work played internationally. 

The five pieces featured here date from between 2014 and 2019, with each having runtimes between six and eleven minutes. We go from “The F SonG” which blends together tense atmospheric string hovers, with jazzy horn runs, and sudden loud baying/ discordant clusters of orchestration, horns, and electronics.  There’s “Sweet Dreams” which begins by mixing urgently repetitive horn ‘n’ vibe tones, with darting flourishes of grand orchestrion. Before moving on shifts between the brooding & bombastic- this piece very much gave me vibes of Frank Zappa’s later ensemble-based work. With the album being finished off with “Case Black” which shifts between tight darting key/string runs, sudden bursts of loud & reeling orchestrated and electronic tone, and the occasional avant rock-focused guitar ‘n’ bass tone.

Mirela Ivičević truly is a daring and unpredictable modern composer, and Scarlet Songs is a wonderful trip into her world. If you looking for sonics that will have you on the edge of your seat, before blowing you out of it- then this will most certainly be for you. And I very much looking forward to checking out more of Ms Ivičević output.

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Roger Batty
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