Sixty for 60: 7. Amirtha Kidambi & Matteo Liberatore

To celebrate my 60th birthday, I asked my social media friends to nominate a favourite song from 2021 – 60 to commemorate the fact I am now 60. Enough folk came forward to make this a blog series.

This time, we’re shifting across to Twitter so The Wire editor Derek Walmsley can make a recommendation – ‘Neutral Love’ by Amirtha Kidambi & Matteo Liberatore. Derek writes, “I absolutely love this” and I can understand why. It’s absolutely enveloping, gorgeous, strung out with dissonance and texture and a silence all the more eloquent for the occasional disruption and distortion. Or, Avant Music News puts it, “Kidambi eschews singing for drones, mouth and throat noises, and plaintive tones, unbending in her lack of orthodoxy. Liberatore provides his own drones as well as long-held notes and dissonant chords on an undistorted electric guitar. While only voice and guitar are credited, a certain amount of processing may be present as well.

Yeah, well of course. I was just about to say that myself. Although such straightforward (albeit accurate) description does not serve to capture the feeling of wonderment within the listener, the sense of spaces and shapes collapsing and reforming in and around your computer desk, the helpless. I expect that this is music which seeks to remove itself at some stage from the everyday, the chatter: dislocated and unbidden. No images race across the inside of my mind as this sound lingers: no images need to. It is enough to be surrounded by it in itself.

Glacial. From New York. Not entirely sure I would describe it as… no, wait. That’s OK. Improvisational.

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