Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith makes electronic music with an incredibly humanist, organic touch. Part of that is due to her use of Buchla synthesizers, which requires hands-on, real-time control instead of pre-programming (it ends up looking like NASA mission control crossed with an art studio). On last year’s EARS, Smith used these free-flowing sounds to create a beatless, abstract aesthetic that has more in common with jazz than traditional, tempo-driven electronic music.
Smith returns later this year with The Kid, a concept album that follows the lifespan of an archetypal person. In the past, her voice was another abstracted instrument, but here it takes on a new focus. “I feel everything at the same time,” she sings on “An Intention,” marking the beginning of a life cycle with a wondrous mixture of microscopic and cosmic textures. Somewhat coincidentally, I rewatched 2001: A Space Odyssey a few nights ago. Smith makes Kubrickian music, something that’s deserving of pure experience more than analysis.
“An Intention” appears on The Kid, out October 6 via Austin-based Western Vinyl.
–Art Levy // host, Sunday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., producer, My KUTX