In her artistic practice, Magda Drozd is deeply concerned with listening. The artist and musician not only investigates the ways her audience listens but also continually hones her own auditory sensibility. For her second album, 18 Floors, Drozd trained the latter on the Lochergut, an iconic residential estate in Zurich’s Kreis 4, which she called home for several years. Over the past two years, she compiled a corpus of field recordings in and of the apartment building, which became the basis for an examination of how sound produces knowledge. The result challenges current assumptions about buildings, urban living, and the ecologies of cohabitation. In the context of her project, Drozd conceives of the building as a living organism rather than a collection of static material. The field recordings served as raw material for the compositions, which were woven into eleven speculative tracks consisting of analogue and digital sounds, including violins, guitars, synthesizers, drum machines, and Drozd’s voice. The music moves between sound art, ambient, and experimental electronics, occasionally showing flashes of pop, indie rock, and R&B.
Drozd’s album, released one and a half years after the COVID-19 outbreak, could not be timelier—even though the conception of 18 Floors predates the global pandemic. The album’s actuality derives from Drozd’s sense of the importance of the home, which has become glaringly obvious in the age of Corona. She concentrated on what was close by when attention was habitually lavished on far-away places. In this process, she examined the constitution and potential of her home, and her preference for documenting what might be over what actually is defines her avant-garde attitude. The result is an album that creates a space for what is transient, uncertain, and unstable. And it creates a space for opportunities, which we need now more than ever.
18 Floors is Drozd’s second album. Her debut, Songs for Plants, was released on vinyl and digitally by Präsens Editionen in 2019. Her follow-up enters the label catalogue among releases by Samuel Reinhard, Belia Winnewisser, Martina Lussi, and Leo Hoffmann.
released May 7, 2021
Written, recorded, and produced by Magda Drozd, 2021
Published by Präsens Editionen
All rights reserved. Unauthorized copying, hiring, lending, and broadcasting of this record is prohibited.
Mix by Samuel Savenberg
Lyrics and Melody on A3 and B3 by Nicola Genovese and Magda Drozd
Mastered by Stefan Betke
Liner notes by Salomé Voegelin
Cover by Magda Drozd
Graphic design by Kaj Lehmann
Executive production by Remo Bitzi
Supported by Stadt Zürich Kultur, Kanton Zürich Fachstelle Kultur, Stadt Luzern FUKA-Fonds, and Zürcher Hochschule der Künste
A release which reimagines the very idea of the "record label compilation" by acting as a coherent and expertly realised piece on its own, rather than as a mere showcase of a roster of artists.
Going into this, the only artist that I was familiar with was Lawrence English, so I was overjoyed to find myself entranced by the entire suite. What a wonderful way to discover so many other tantalisingly unique artists who also use sound as their canvas. Looks like I have some discographies to explore! Nate Collins
"Darkwater" finds Lamin Fofana creating rich aural spaces from a sparse musical palette, skillfully pairing and blending shades of sound to complement and accent each other, drawing attention to individual elements as needed to create highlights and points of interest. Fofana's understanding of placement and form is inspired, a truly impressive comprehension that results in a fascinating and engaging album that rewards the listener with repeated listening.
Highly recommended. rikm