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Astrid Sonne Human Lines Escho

On her debut album, Astrid Sonne explores the fundamental truth that electricity is first a phenomenon occurring in nature. Sonne, herself, is relatively new to electric instruments, having been classically trained before becoming enamoured with the sound of synth. The fledgling curiosity can be felt throughout Human Lines, wherein Sonne re-narrates the process of her discovery.

But even more, Sonne completes an energy circle, coming into the process of making electronic music while routinely returning to its natural origins. Without words as her primary force of messaging, the Denmark composer’s music breathes meaning on its own. There are exhaling silences on the opening Also, where Sonne finds her footing, slowly stringing disparate sounds together creating a wondrous constellation floating just above our headspace. The skyward synth in the backdrop signals an ominous painful period after a flicker in the darkness reveals nightmarish figures.

Sonne’s musical choices makes for an experience that is sometimes difficult to take in cleanly. Such as on Waw, which sounds like sand particles scratching against skin, inching into our ears. Once inside, a squeaky beeping catalyses a dive into deep darkness, landing us in a dreamlike daze that only wears off after the song sputters us awake. But Sonne returns to normalcy on the backend of the record, and Modular Body is the most typically rhythmic track.

The process of discovering, of creating, and manipulating is one of unceasing chase. We get a sense of that difficulty in making and discovering on Human Lines. For a debut, there are many crossing strands and meanings pulled from this voiceless work that are communicated quite clearly. Sonne makes it sound easy to let the tools do the talking.