After a brief hiatus, Files Rec is back on the release train with a stunning EP from Swiss artist Shayu. The young Zurich-based producer presents "Liàng", a collection of four intimately intertwined works reflecting on a profoundly inspiring work trip to China in 2011. Thanks to her classical piano background, Shayu crafts beautiful melodies loaded with emotion and supported by homemade modular synthesizer samples, bold drum patterns and field recordings.
The EP opens with "Loom", a pulsating introduction to her realm of brightness and darkness ("Liàng" can be translated as bright/light). The arpeggiated theme responds to vocal samples in a dance of timid fury only interrupted by violent incursions of saturated drums. "Int. Carma", a reverie tainted with rhythmic patterns, feels like a natural follow-up to the first piece, playing on similar arpeggios and sampling the dancing part of a movie she watched over and over back in China (russian ballet Nijinsky). "Arly" toys with found sounds and complex synthesizers to produce a dizzying effect of calm before the storm, like a strange sunrise announcing the final piece: "Mxone". This last work combines powerful and intricate drum patterns with fantastically eerie melodies, and leaves the listener wanting for more. Overall, the sound of Shayu is very compact and cohesive resulting in a much appreciated feeling of unison across the whole release.