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The music of Australian artist Thembi Soddell resides in a zone of unrelenting darkness and physical affect. Working at the nexus of raw emotion, sound design, and musique concrete, she creates sound worlds that are effortlessly dense and abyss-like. In her performances, she explores sonic environments which swallow the audience. By utilizing intense sound pressure and varying dynamics she creates profoundly unsettling, but fulfilling, experiences for her audiences. Love Songs, her latest work, is easily the clearest articulation of her methodologies. A work of extreme dynamics and intensities, the record is one of the most fierce, sonic expressions to be delivered from an Australian artist in recent years. "The title Love Songs," Thembi explains, "is a little dark humor on my behalf. As the compositional process evolved the work became a meditation on the lived experience of insidious forms of abuse within supposedly loving relationships, in connection to certain forms of mental illness. These experiences are ones of extremes and emotional intensities; the tensions between horror, beauty, rage, desire, confusion, love, and perceptual annihilation. Also, a good deal of the source material for the album is voice. I asked Alice Hui-Sheng Chang to vocalize perceptual collapse, which I sampled and manipulated into expressions of these themes. So, these are my love songs." Published alongside an extensive book, outlining more literal readings of her ideas of sonic affect, contemporary relationships and the nature of becoming, Soddell's Love Songs is an utterly personal and compelling listen. It's equal parts horror, anxiety, relief and exhilaration, often in the same instant. A truly remarkable rendering of sound that extends the possibilities for how we are embraced and engulfed by the acoustics we encounter. Thembi Soddell (b. Australia 1980) is a sound artist and electroacoustic composer with an interest in psychology, perception, subjectivity, and affect in relation to intense encounters with sound. Her distinct approach to composition exploits dynamic extremes, creating volatile, evocative sound experiences with a disquieting edge. She creates works for recording, installation and performance -- including multiple CD releases, presentations at Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and City Gallery Wellington, and two European tours in a duo with cellist Anthea Caddy.