Quiltland - Sisto

(Astro Dynamics)

I don't review music but 'Sisto' came to my attention in a way that I thought would be worth mentioning on here. I discovered Quiltland while looking for videos of 1980s American Supermodel Gia Carangi on the Internet. Faded, melancholic electronica and 80s/90s fashion don't really seem like a good fit - but actually, (at least for me) somehow they do.

Quiltland (Frida-Li Lovgren) produces on 'Sisto', a kind of music that seems to sum up that period very well - occasional sequencer patterns that recall a longing for mid 90s rave dystopia; Julee Cruise (Twin Peaks), the ghost of Propaganda, ambient sections of 1980s Art Of Noise and the elegiac, faded melancholy of William Basinski.

I've no idea if she has heard or been influenced by these artists but 'Sisto' is an album that will go on to become a quiet classic from the excellent Astro Dynamics label.

The cassette inlay features a washed-out photo of perhaps an 80s pop diva who never quite made it. It's a beautiful image that perfectly conveys the music on the tape. Store the tape away and listen to the FLAC files instead.

All of the tracks are excellent, especially 'Statuo' and 'Forever (Sunrise Version)'. However, it is the 'Fides' trilogy that really gets under your skin.

Quiltland samples her own voice on 'Fides'  but I am convinced that on two occasions there are tiny 2-3 second samples of Gia Carangi speaking in an interview. This connection is further enhanced by two YouTube videos Quiltland has released; the first showing Gia Carangi at a fashion shoot and the second referencing the day she died. I don't know, it just all adds to the mystery.

Not that these tenuous connections should make any difference. All I can tell you is that on 'Sisto', Quiltland has tapped into some small niche that links faded, beautiful electronica with fashion from a by-gone age.

Very talented artist indeed.