Silvia released Air Lows in January this year. Kastel has explored the outer limits and inner workings of no wave, industrial, dub, extreme electronics, free rock and improvisation. Air Lows – which follows the cassette releases Love Tape (2011), Voice Studies 20 (2015) and The Gap (2016) – is both her fullest and most refined offering to date, a work of vivid, isolationist electronics which draws deeply on her past experience but assuredly breaks new ground.
Prompted by a late-flowering interest in techno and club music, Kastel sought to create something which combines a steady rhythmic pulse with the otherworldly sonorities of musique concrete, and avant-garde synth sounds inspired by Japanese minimalism and techno-pop (Haruomi Hosono’s Philharmony being a particular favourite). The formal artifice of muzak / elevator music, the intros and outros of generic popular songs, the extreme light-heavy contrasts of jungle, the creative sampling of hardcore, and the very “human” synths in the jazz of Herbie Hancock’s Sextant and Sun Ra: all these things were touchstones for Air Lows’ conception and composition. All strains of music addressing – and complicating – the relationship between the human and the technological. By extension, visual inspirations also proved important: anime, and the avant-garde fashion of Rei Kawakubo. What does that shirt or dress sound like?
Her bookings include: Sonar Rekyjavik, London Contemporary Orchestra with Actress, Synthposium in Moscow, or Resident Advisor Berlin party. As a DJ: warming up for DJ Stingray in Ohm, playing at De School in Amsterdam, Säule/Berghain in Berlin. She’s also busy with her radio show – Ultramarine Transmissions.