An ancient voice breathing through empty landscapes
Deya Dova has been working on a 12 mini album project called The Planetary Grid Music Collection. She started it in the latter half of 2018 and Koyangwuti is the 9th release of the 12. For each album, she travels to an ancient place and records music there on site.
Each album has a theme and for Koyangwuti, its the desert. Deya recorded each track in the Colorado Plateau and that barren, dusty, crisp echo is heard throughout the six tracks. If you buy the music via the Deya Dova website, you also have access to text, images, leyline grids and videos about the area and the recording process too which is a lovely touch.
‘Koyangwuti’, like many of the EPs is focused on voice. Here, with the title track, we weave a layered chant that builds into a meditative beat. Shakers, drums and dusty reverb branches add a tribal and spooky feel. ‘Valley of the Ancients’ adds some bass thumping tuned woods and flutes to create a pilgrimage feel. The way the percussive bass slams through your bones against the calming but wise vocals of Deya is inspired. Similarly, the drone synths added to the breath heavy ‘Ladder to the Central Sun’ calls to your guttural human energy. It closely aligns the kind of darkness Tanya Tagaq but stops short of throat singing itself.
The other three tracks are sparser arrangements but bring in field noises from the Colorado Plateau itself. The birds, wind, branches and occasional ocarina pop up alongside the vocal calls and breath pulses. They all carry their own vibe though and contribute to this feeling that you have been taken on a journey.
‘Koyangwuti’ is an album best experienced laying down in focus or outside in nature. There is something deeply spiritual, not just here, but across all of The Planetary Grid Music Collection that Deya Dova has been crafting. Each album is a little gem but collectively they shine. It is like a fascinating map of ancient sites and times and you can hear the production and recording of instruments match the location tropes too. If you enjoy tribal or world music or perhaps some of the more ethnic themes from Dead Can Dance – this is right up your street.
Recommended track: Valley of the Ancients
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