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Ana Roxanne
~~~ Jo Higgs , October 15th, 2019 09:15

Water runs through Ana Roxanne's ~~~, opening up a world of electronic sensuality, finds Jo Higgs

Full of deep warbling organs and chirping electronic pings, Ana Roxanne’s ~~~ is an ode to self-recognition and revelation that delves deep into personal and sonic depths. Despite having originally been released quietly in 2015, ~~~ was brought to a wider audience in 2019 upon its re-release with Leaving Records.

A plethora of synth and organ sounds sees Roxanne’s production reach heights at which it births a warming buzz, enveloping the sounds around it, smothering sparse vocal melodies and gushing field recordings of an incoming tide. The shores captured within opener ‘Immortality’ provide the lulling colours lyrically referenced as “deep violet water[s]”; these tides form a shimmering and rippling dream-mirror, through which Roxanne is subjected to “a familiar gesture misplaced in time”. Hums intone overlapping melodies beneath whispered spoken word passages.

Water runs throughout this project, finding tribunes in each track. As a sonic theme it permeates the project as a reminder of the fluidity of life and the potential for change. In the final cut, ‘In a Small Valley’, a river is splashed in amidst – and often over – the instrumental, asserting its importance. Ringing metallic chimes play a wondering melody, soon infiltrated by a small church choir. This gradually grows in presence before once again falling away and drowning in the stream, before sparse chimes re-emerge to strike an unsure duet with the semi-melodic gargles of a baby.

Literature buffs may recognise the spoken word over ‘Slowness’ as a set of lines from Czech author Milan Kundera’s work of the same name. In a tune full of juxtapositions set to an autumnal warmth, this statically spoken verse contrasts both the speed of the frantic electronics and the natural air to the low droning cellos. The words see Roxanne, through Kundera, question reality and memory, a theme that grows throughout the journey of ~~~.

In a further case of borrowing words, ‘I’m Every Sparkling Woman’, Roxanne channels Chaka Khan as she investigates and asserts aspects of her femininity. It seems notable that she utilises another’s words to tackle her gender, as only three years after the original release of this project did Roxanne enlighten the world to her being intersex. In an interview with Bandcamp, Roxanne talks of still being unsure of the way she identifies but feeling that through living as the RnB divas she adored growing up when performing ‘I’m Every Sparkling Woman’, she can love herself regardless.

Requiring a deep and attentive listen, Roxanne’s project is certainly not one for anyone, yet still exists for those who can apply themselves to it, opening up a world of electronic sensuality.