Review: Nieves Mingueza, The Humble Bee & Offthesky – All Other Voices Gone, Only Yours Remains (IIKKI, Jul 15)

I love reviewing IIKKI releases because it gives me a chance to not only discuss both auditory and visual art, but also to process the similarities and differences between how I experience each medium. Each of the label’s releases document a dialogue between a visual artist and a musician or band—in this case, multimedia photographer Nieves Mingueza and a musical collaboration between Craig Tattersall and Jason Corder, who perform and record as The Humble Bee and Offthesky, respectively. Much like the last album from IIKKI I wrote about (Federico Durand, Anna P. Cabrera, and Angel Albarrán’s Pequeñas Melodías), the dual facets of All Other Voices Gone, Only Yours Remains unfold with amazing unity. Tattersall and Corder construct impossibly lush, gorgeous sculptures of drifting ambience, dusty crackles, and delicate string laments provided by an auxiliary group of musicians that includes saxophonist Cody Yantis and flautist Esther Hernandez. The aching fragility of the music perfectly complements Mingueza’s meticulous collages of aged photographs, masking tape, and old parchment, further evoking an atmosphere steeped in fading memory (a video of the art can be viewed on Mingueza’s website). This impermanence is recognized by my favorite two-page spread of the art book, where Mingueza obscures significant portions of poignant photographs with deliberate partitions of paper. Even absent of their other half, both the art and the music that comprise All Other Voices Gone… are among the most sublime media I’ve encountered this year, and together they accomplish something tremendous.