I featured Aberdeen based electronic experimental artist Fiona Soe Paing last year as one of my new artists of 2015. Her debut releases were captivating and her single Heartbeat, released on Glasgow's Hot Gem Records, was a real treat. Its hypnotic feel points the way to many of the tracks on her debut album Alien Lullabies, but that only tells half the story. With this debut, Fiona has crafted a bewitching, powerful album that merits repeated listens.
What immediately strikes you about Alien Lullabies is the way it surrounds and immerses you. Opener Prelude/Meet Me Where The Rainbow Ends takes is a gentle start, taking you by the hand and leading you in the darkness, before the wonderful Tamin Sah Pade grabs you in its Massive Attack like black grasp, eerie but uplifting. It's built on a mysterious, repetitive groove, balancing its dark feel against Fiona's wonderful vocals. Tah Stin Koh Mpor follows, like a reboot of Kraftwerk at their most alien during their Radioactivity period, an album that echoes throughout this release. Swamp Blues adds some beef to the sound with its treated vocals and Depeche Mode Songs Of Faith And Devotion era blues rock meeting Bjork's experimentalism head on.
In general, this album has a sparse feel, but the space in the songs is perfectly judged, with each track saying plenty without overdoing anything. Ballad Of The Two Sisters and Winter's Day are perfect examples of that - both sounding like echoes of a song beamed in from somewhere else, but both captivating. Behrot and Roller Ghoster offer the same slightly unsettling but ultimately uplifting experience. The closing Time Clocks is the perfect end to the album, sounding like an escape from the alien atmosphere that cloaks the preceding tracks, providing hope beyond the darkness. Again, I've reminded of Kraftwerk's Radioactivity album in feel and sound and that is very much a compliment.
Scotland's electronic music scene is something we Scots should be proud of, and one of its key features is the sheer diversity of music within that very scene. With Alien Lullabies, Fiona Soe Paing has added yet another layer to the electronic music on offer in the country and she's added one of the most enthralling layers of all. Alien Lullabies is an album you really must check out. Dark, experimental and quite wonderful. Don't miss out on this one,
Alien Lullabies by Fiona Soe Paing is available now on Colliderscope. The album launch show takes place on Thursday 29 Septmeber at Stereo in Glasgow and it's free to enter so get along there. Fiona also supports Michael Rother at Glasgow Art School on Friday 30 September.
Fiona Soe Paing Facebook https://www.facebook.com/fionasoepaing.music/
Fiona Soe Paing Official http://www.fionasoepaing.co.uk/