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Kelela and Elysia Crampton Share a Gorgeous and Sinister Pair of Tracks

Featuring lyrics written by Adrian Piper, they're off the Total Freedom-executive produced compilation 'Anthem.'
September 19, 2016, 4:14pm
Still from Kelela's "Rewind" music video

Los Angeles vocalist and songwriter Kelela, experimental theater producer and composer Elysia Crampton, and influential conceptual artist Adrian Piper have shared two new tracks together. They're contributions to Anthem, a collaborative album executive produced by Total Freedom and released in concert with this summer's 9th Berlin Biennale.

"Final Exam" carries an air of devotional music, bringing together techniques from ambient and drone with a song structure designed around gorgeously stacked chords. It's punctuated with an unexpected, raw-nerves key change in its final moments. Meanwhile, "Reference Track" takes what sounds like the same vocal—or at least the same lyrics—and transports it to a more gothic and sinister register, heavy on plucked synth recreations of acoustic instruments, agitated foley samples, and viscerally lithe, front-and-center drum programming.

In a post on Facebook, Crampton said that Piper is responsible for the lyrics; you can hear both songs on the Biennale's website. This is the first time Crampton and Kelela have released original work together, although Crampton has remixed and edited her tracks many times in the past.

Earlier in the summer, [Nguzunguzu, Fatima Al Qadiri, Hito Steyerl, and more released music from](Fatima Al Qadiri and Nguzunguzu) [Anthem](Fatima Al Qadiri and Nguzunguzu).

Los Angeles vocalist and songwriter Kelela, experimental theater producer and composer Elysia Crampton, and influential conceptual artist Adrian Piper have shared two new tracks together. They're contributions to Anthem, a collaborative album executive produced by Total Freedom and released in concert with this summer's 9th Berlin Biennale.

"Final Exam" carries an air of devotional music, bringing together techniques from ambient and drone with a song structure designed around gorgeously stacked chords. It's punctuated with an unexpected, raw-nerves key change in its final moments. Meanwhile, "Reference Track" takes what sounds like the same vocal—or at least the same lyrics—and transports it to a more gothic and sinister register, heavy on plucked synth recreations of acoustic instruments, agitated foley samples, and viscerally lithe, front-and-center drum programming.

In a post on Facebook, Crampton said that Piper is responsible for the lyrics; you can hear both songs on the Biennale's website. This is the first time Crampton and Kelela have released original work together, although Crampton has remixed and edited her tracks many times in the past.

Earlier in the summer, Nguzunguzu, Fatima Al Qadiri, Hito Steyerl, and more released music from Anthem.

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