On 27 October, New York’s experimental electronic multimedia duo Ariadne will release their long-awaited fourth album, titled Stabat Mater. While I wasn’t initially fond of their previous release, Tsalal, it grew on me tremendously, leading me to believe I might simply have not been ready yet for this sort of experience. On Stabat Mater, however, Christine and Benjamin take things to a whole new level. Here, songs are shorter, but there are a lot more of them: twenty, in total – but it could be argued that there is only one, a fifty-minute giant split into various movements, but meant to be listened in whole. The record is inspired by tales of visions of the Virgin Mary, and the audio effects are quasi-hallucinogenic indeed! I unfortunately can’t write about the multimedia experience – the way the album is supposed to be experiences –, because the visual portion of it is not available yet. Upon release, a WebGL 3D interactive program should be offered to those who buy the album, but that’s only me speculating by the information available to me. Stabat Mater is a truly otherworldly venture, but you might have already had a taste of this sonic palette if you’ve listened to the first half of Death Grips’ 2015 double album The Powers That B. The American experimental hip-hop group famously – or infamously – sampled some of Björk’s sounds and made the entire album out of them. On Stabat Mater, the sampled vocals are Ariadne’s own, as far as I know, but the vibe is somewhat similar, minus MC Ride’s merciless rapping, instead featuring Christine’s crystalline classical chants. Stabat Mater is an entrancing experience, judged only by its aural facet, but I can’t wait to participate in the interactive aspect of it and view it in a new light.
An advanced digital copy of the album was sent to us.