Following the release of her 2018 solo tape, Ggggg (Anticausal Systems), vocalist Charmaine Lee returns with her debut LP, KNVF, for Erratum Musical (Paris, France). In just two years, the album marks a considerable evolution from the austere concentration of Ggggg towards expansive sonic worlds. Inspired by the arcs of popular music, Charmaine freely and fearlessly navigates a wide range of aesthetics, digging beneath each surface to disclose a highly personal musicality. Microphones of varying fidelities, contact mics placed on the throat, and amplified hair combs are used to simulate polyphony and a dialogue between the inner and outer body. With Charmaine’s unique vocal articulations atop a bed of feedback and extreme frequencies, form follows expression in an ever-evolving context built on the traditions of noise, vocal, and improvised music. KNVF is a powerful statement in modern vocal music and a thrilling new development in Charmaine's artistry that will reward those who listen for the journey.
Charmaine Lee (b. 1991) is a New York-based vocalist from Sydney, Australia. Her music is predominantly improvised, favoring a uniquely personal approach to vocal expression concerned with spontaneity, playfulness, and risk-taking. Beyond extended vocal technique, Charmaine uses amplification, feedback, and microphones to augment and distort the voice. She has performed with leading improvisers Nate Wooley, id m theft able, C. Spencer Yeh, and Ikue Mori, and maintains ongoing collaborations with Conrad Tao, Victoria Shen, Zach Rowden, and Eric Wubbels. Charmaine has performed at ISSUE Project Room, the Kitchen, Roulette, The Poetry Project, and MoMA PS1, and participated in festivals including Resonant Bodies, Huddersfield Contemporary, and Ende Tymes. Her work has been featured in group exhibitions including The Moon Represents My Heart: Music, Memory and Belonging at the Museum of Chinese in America (2019). As a composer, Charmaine has been commissioned by the Wet Ink Ensemble (2018) and Spektral Quartet (2018). In 2019, she was an Artist-in-Residence at ISSUE Project Room and is currently a 2021 Van Lier Fellow at Roulette. Charmaine is a member of the Editorial Board of Sound American.
released March 19, 2021
All tracks composed and recorded by Charmaine Lee
Track 4 features amplified hair comb made by Victoria Shen
Track 6 features "Exuberance with bloody hands" by the late Australian poet Dorothy Porter
Recorded in Chinatown, NYC in March 2020
Mastered by Chris Goudreau at Ninth Circle Music (www.chrisgoudreau.com
Record cut by Frederic Alstadt of Angström Mastering
Photography: Luke Cheng
Released by Joachim Montessuis
Published by ERRATUM MUSICAL | 025