NOTES ON :
FLOATING BEAUTY .
BY SKYLER BURGESS .
The artist floating Beauty has created an incredibly gorgeous and intricate body a music. The opening track from the Kovilj album, Liturgija, is a testament to the production quality and talent of floating Beauty. The quiet build of this track pulls you into a world of suspense, leads you through a courtyard of tension, and blasts you with a wall of gritty synths and powerful drums. Your left with chills and the sound of a distant voice reciting an unintelligible but ominous speech. The Serbo-Croatian translation of Liturgija is “church, public form of worship, or ritual”. The visuals from the music video suggest as much too, but when you read the album description on Bandcamp it states that the “original field recordings [were] taken at the monastery [in] Kovilj and at home in Kac, Serbia [aug] 2010”
What I really enjoy about this album overall is the connection of every song. Each song leads into the next one. The title track Kovilj (also the name of a village in Serbia) carries the same undertones as the first song but introduces a different rhythm. Again, Kovilj fades out and the next song fading in is titled Tamjan (Serbian for incense). The creeping and strained pad is overlaid with a decaying, lo-fi, and forever delaying synth. This nearly eight-minute song may seem like a long ride, but it’s worth the trip.
Once you journey through the first three songs you’re sonically opened to an outdoor soundscape with crickets chirping, dogs barking, and music in the distance. The song Kac sounds like a peaceful evening in a small town if you will. Until of course, over three minutes into this scene and you begin to hear what seems to be the beginning of a horror film. A minor-key, whispering pad hums in one ear as a dark, industrial-toned synth crawls in the background. The music creepily disappears for a minute or so, and returns louder – panning back and forth, from ear to ear. As the song goes on, more ambient sounds are introduced as you’re carried away from the sounds of this small town.
The fifth track, miran svet (calm world or peaceful universe), bleeds in with an eerie bell-toned synth that’s followed by an array of cloudy bass drums and accented with clamoring ambient tones. The song builds into a warfare of drums and dramatic keys. After a few minutes of rattling the cage, the song trickles in the orator from the previous songs, and you can hear more clearly as to what the man is saying. He seems to be talking about the architecture and history of a Serbian church, but the context of this speech is unknown. This advances us to the final track.
Molitva, meaning prayer in Serbian, is a culmination of the previous tracks. The build, the horror-like hums, the simple but multi-layered synthesizers dancing in and out; it’s all there and very interesting.
If you listen to this album from beginning to end it will feel like you are in a film. The roller-coaster of sounds and commotion that floating Beauty creates, I believe, is something that should be heard and shared with as many people as possible. This is clearly not for everyone, but if you are wanting to listen to an experimental journey/film score, the monastery, prayer and incense inspired sounds of floating Beauty’s Kovilj is for you.