The best thing to listen to while awaiting the arrival of composer Gueorgui Linev’s new album as Kan Wakan is … everything Linev has teased so far from the album, titled “Phantasmagoria.” It’s a triple-LP, so there’s much more to come, but starting last August with “Molasses,” six Kan Wakan tracks have trickled forth in their haunting, minimalist glory: “I Would,” which like the first single featured guest vocalist Elle Olsun; “I Had to Laugh,” with Rachel Fannan; “Still Feather” and “No Line,” each featuring SAÍGO (Tien Nguyen); and now the first segment of the title track.
“Phantasmagoria Pt. 1,” the Bulgaria-born, L.A.-based Linev says, “is a haunted story of an empath, taking place in a dream-state – tall and obtuse, a movement through rooms, where walls are windows and doors swing enter/exit on whim-ful moments, making sense as its path unfurls yet perplexing to explain upon reflection.” Olsun brings her delicate vocals to this track, which features Son Lux’s Ian Chang on drums and backing from the Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra, with whom Linev collaborated on some of the album. As with much of Kan Wakan’s music, there is ample space in “Phantasmagoria Pt. 1;” it’s as much an invitation as a command, a door opened to imagine (perhaps) wandering through a denuded forest where Olsun’s voice billows like tissue paper hanging from a tree limb and splashes of color finally reveal themselves in the horns at the end. Close your eyes for your own adventure.
||| Stream: “Phantasmagoria Pt. 1”
||| Also: Stream: “Still Feather” and “No Line”
||| Previously: Live at the Bootleg Theater