Mira Calix: Skimskitta

Warp, 2003

Skimskitta cover

This truly is a beautiful recording. Small tracks flow into larger ones, electronic glitches mix with acoustic instruments, and stones clack over wood smacks. The album starts with a brief ambient passage, then the soft, contemplative “Poussou.” “Woody” is more suspenseful, with just a whisper of voices below a simple beat and clattering blocks of timber. The rhythm slowly breaks down as we segue into dark, bleak “Savanna,” but “The Wolf, the Sheep & the Door” picks up the pace again with a bizarre, smacked, rubbed beat and unidentifiable burbles. There are sounds on this album which are difficult to describe. The melodies are often subtle and Chantel’s murmuring becomes just another instrument. But it’s the textures that really make this worthwhile listening.

(This review is co-published on Stereo88.com.)