Fenella

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Inspired by Marcell Jankovics’ 1981 cult animation Fehérlófia (Son of the White Mare), Jane Weaver’s new ensemble Fenella showcases tireless creativity with this latest entry in the Fire Records series of reimagined soundtracks.

As I’ve only ever seen Fehérlófia in its native Hungarian (which I don’t understand), without English subtitles, my understanding of the plot is driven entirely by its visual storytelling. Based on Hungarian folk tales, the film’s ground-breaking animation oozes visual poetry both surreal and mesmerizing.

Fenella is Jane Weaver’s second album this year, after the excellent Loops in the Secret Society, and sees her forming a more formal ensemble with her regular collaborators Peter Philipson and Raz Ullah. The group as a whole has produced a work of haunting vocals, analogue synthesis, treated guitars, and drone textured psychedelia.

Of course it is not necessary to have seen the film in order to appreciate the album, although it may provide some context, even if just to explain some of the track titles. While some of the tracks directly reference events in the film, such as the heavy dissonance of “Rock Creature” and the deep pounding roughness of “Battle”, other tracks take on more obscurely impressionist flights of fancy like “Echo Chamber Of Your Head” or “Slow Swoop”.

Just close your eyes and let your mind float above the Steppe of rural Hungary, as the music guides you through an epic struggle of light and dark.

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