Review: Manja Ristić – Fairy & The River Teeth (Sonospace, Jan 31)

Fairy & The River Teeth is Madrid label Sonospace‘s sixth release this year. It joins a multitude of other projects in various areas of electroacoustics, field recording, phonography, and soundscaping. Probably the most notable example of these is the nearly four-hour, multi-artist collection Soundmaps for the Dreamer II, which I will reviewing as well (once I finish listening to it, of course). But despite the wide variety of sounds and even instruments Ristić uses, Fairy & The River Teeth is an incredibly intimate album. It quickly sucks you into an unfamiliar world, one that I’m still not really sure is comforting or frightening. Many of the recordings, i.e. a teakettle squealing, a pencil scratching on paper, or the twittering of birds, seem to magnify everyday noises to the point where you become completely immersed. In this way, the record exerts a lot of control over the listener, but not in a malignant way. For example, on the title track, I found myself so lost in the collages of sound that I was almost moved to tears when hints of conventional melody began to break through; not because of the beauty of the melodies themselves, but because it actually felt like these notes were coming from within me – a very profound experience to be sure. What I’m getting at is that Fairy & The River Teeth is amazingly unique, and ultimately you’ll have to listen for yourself to determine its true nature (which is a course of action I highly recommend).