‘Speechless’ is Resina’s first standalone album in three years. On her latest record, Warsaw-based cellist and composer Karolina Rec massively expands on her sound, which includes ideas of language, the role of the voice, and the ever-changing aspects of nature.
The nine pieces are entangled with cello, voice, and electronics. Drummer Mateusz Rychlicki joins in with the 23-piece 441 Hz Choir, while Magdalena Gajdzica plays flute and Micha? Fojcik includes field recordings and additional sound design. Speechless is actually quite the opposite of its title, as the record is all about finding one’s voice. Resina has without doubt found hers. Her voice emerges from darkly-lit alleyways and the snake-charming essence of the flute seems to evoke mysteries beyond mortal comprehension. Pulsating electronics and insidious undercurrents are present throughout the running time, with the voice elongating and sometimes even shrieking, as if it were a victim of age-old torture methods.
Its austere beauty is speckled with sudden shifts in mood and drops in temperature. The unpredictability of nature – of everything, in fact – is in evidence when the tones suddenly sink and transform, plagued by a sudden scratching rhythm and the nitro-fuelled drumming. Sirens enter and create mass anxiety, adding to feelings of imminent destruction. This also accelerates the intensity of the music, and at times it can be an absolute monster. Speechless is a dark album, and it purposely throws into doubt the direction of its music: is it lost for words, or are the words trapped, in agony, and unable to be voiced? Is there some kind of asphyxiation taking place within its echoing wails and howls? Speechless, it seems, is a record in some distress.
The choir brings a reverence to its music, sometimes standing alone and being surrounded by a glimmering halo of prime light. But even here, distortions and subtle pitch-shifts exist, ready to invade at any second. The pitch drops like a bomb, collapsing again and again. Resina finds her voice in the music’s flair for intensity and powerful movement; perhaps the music can speak after all, and what it has to say is so powerful that it takes the breath away.
Speechless releases on FatCat’s 130701 imprint on November 19.