Earlier this year, FACT’s John Twells and Bryan McKay headed to Montreal with local FACT contributor Son Raw for MUTEK, and talked to a handful of artists about the nature of live performance.
Swiss-born, Nepalese-Tibetan producer Aïsha Devi is no newcomer to the electronic music world. She released her debut album back in 2004 under the Kate Wax moniker, and has kept up a steady stream of releases ever since, kicking off her own imprint – the visually striking Danse Noire – in 2013.
Last year, she dropped Of Matter And Spirit, her first album released under her birth name, Aïsha Devi. The record is a distillation of her influences and experience, fusing blustery vocals with fragmented electronics, propulsive beats and decomposing synths.
Devi’s live set might be even more stunning – she was a highlight of this year’s MUTEK Montreal, capturing the audience with the most energetic set of the week. As vivid video projections twisted around the walls, Devi screamed and cooed over unpredictable, bass-heavy electronic backdrops. It was an almost religious experience.
FACT met up with the self styled “shaman-troubadour” to talk about how music is a “ritualistic” or “shamanic” experience, and how looking back to ancient cultures, it had a healing power.
Projections by Emile Barret. Source Material by Emile Barret & Tianzhuo Chen. Aïsha Devi is an alumni of the SHAPE platform for innovative music and audiovisual art, which is supported by the Creative Europe program of the European Union.
Directed by Bryan McKay. Interview by Son Raw. Shot by Bryan McKay and John Twells. Produced by John Twells.