Video Interview: Kariti Confirms Covered Mirrors Vinyl, Talks Playing Live for the First Time, New Material and More

Posted in Bootleg Theater, Features on February 18th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

kariti

No, Kariti did not have the ‘long, dark winter’ of 2020-’21 in mind when she recorded her debut album, Covered Mirrors (review here). Issued through Aural Music last September, the record’s arriving was nonetheless fitting, and as the darker, colder and harder days have forced a hunkering-down even beyond that already instituted throughout much of the last 12 months, the melancholy that pervades Covered Mirrors has offered a quiet, melodic kind of comfort and understanding, weighted in atmosphere even as it basks in an ethereal sensibility and spans three languages in its 34-minute runtime.

Though she didn’t make the album entirely on her own — engineer Lorenzo Della Rovere contributed acoustic and slide guitar to on “Sky Burial” and “The Baptism of a Witch,” and Marco Matta (also Grime) played electric guitar on “Sky Burial” and “Anna (Requiem to Death),” and Lorenzo Stecconi mastered — it is a deeply personal work just the same for Katerina, who wrote the songs from poems she’d accumulated over years or by drawing on her Russian heritage, bringing it together with her current life in Italy and various folk traditions. Recording at the proverbial cabin in the woods, secluded, Kariti brings that organic sound to the album, in her voice and guitar, certainly, as well as the various natural elements captured on tape, be it a thunderstorm or the insects that joined her at night as she recorded vocals, singing outside the open window.

Kariti has never performed live, and that’s a prospect Katerina discusses in the interview below. As noted in the headline, she’s begun writing a follow-up album to Covered Mirrors, which sees her composing on piano for the first time. In addition to these, Katerina confirms an LP of the debut to come out on Aural Music with an additional track added, talks about her roots in classical music, the maybe-too-personal nature of this batch of songs, and what lessons she’s taking from putting together her first record into the prospect of making a second one.

It was a good chat and I’m happy to present it here as it happened. Thanks for reading and/or watching.

Please enjoy:

Kariti Interview, Feb. 16, 2021

Kariti‘s Covered Mirrors is out now on CD and DL through Aural Music and will be released on vinyl later this year (conditions permitting). The album can be streamed in full below.

Kariti, Covered Mirrors (2020)

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The Obelisk Show on Gimme Metal Playlist: Episode 43

Posted in Radio on October 2nd, 2020 by JJ Koczan

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A few classics, a lot of new music, and a final half-hour that I’d have a hard time imagining could possibly be better spent. I haven’t been able to spend as much time in the Gimme Metal chat during the shows as I’d like — my duties as dad/house-husband in terms of feeding, bedtime ritual, diapers, dinner and all that clash pretty hard with the 5-7PM timeslot, and it’s important to me to do those things as well as to be visible doing them, especially to my son to teach him that a man can be a caregiver (as much as I’m able) — but I always at least check in and keep half an eye on what’s going on in there.

It’s been cool to see the Gimme community develop over time. There are familiar names in there week after week and others come and go. That’s a special kind of connection Gimme has been able to forge that I feel fortunate to be a part of in some small way. I’ve never been cool enough to be a part of a scene. I’m still not. But it’s fun to watch.

The Pecan does indeed feature in this one. He broke out “Listenin’ to Obeliks Show on Give-Me-Metal!” from the back seat of the car and surprised the hell out of me. I think you can probably hear my smile.

Thanks for listening if you do. I hope you enjoy the show.

The Obelisk Show airs 5PM Eastern today on the Gimme app or at http://gimmemetal.com

Full playlist:

The Obelisk Show – 10.02.20

Crystal Spiders Tigerlily Molt
Acid King Silent Pictures Middle of Nowhere, Center of Everywhere
Year of the Cobra Demons Ash and Dust
VT
Oginalii Pillars Pendulum
Dreadnought Tempered Emergence
Molassess The Devil Lives Through the Hollow
Kariti Kybele’s Kiss Covered Mirrors
CB3 Warrior Queen Aeons
Heavy Temple Hit it and Quit It Split From the Black Hole
Holy Grove Solaris II
The Wounded Kings Consolamentum Consolamentum
Besvärjelsen Past in Haze Frost
VT
Grayceon We Can All We Destroy
SubRosa The Wound of the Warden For This I Fought the Battle of Ages

The Obelisk Show on Gimme Metal airs every Friday 5PM Eastern, with replays Sunday at 7PM Eastern. Next new episode is Oct. 16 (subject to change). Thanks for listening if you do.

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Review & Full Album Stream: Kariti, Covered Mirrors

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on September 16th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

kariti covered mirrors

[Click play above to stream Kariti’s Covered Mirrors in full. Album is out Sept. 18 on Aural Music.]

This Friday, native Russian solo artist Kariti — also stylized all-lowercase: kariti — will release her debut full-length, Covered Mirrors, through Aural Music. Comprising nine songs reportedly tracked in rural seclusion in Italy, where Kariti now lives, it is an almost uniformly melancholy 34-minute affair, based largely around voice and acoustic guitar, but with moments of flourish in other arrangement elements. Harmonies — more over, self-harmonies — abound as Kariti gives expressive weight to this mournfulness, and in songs like “Sky Burial,” “Absent Angels” and the album’s centerpiece “Penance,” the patient sensibility Kariti brings to her songwriting comes through in each passing measure.

With two titles in Russian — they translate to “The Baptism of a Witch” and “Abyss” — some contributions of acoustic and slide guitar from engineer Lorenzo Della Rovere on “Sky Burial” and “The Baptism of a Witch,” as well as electric from Grime‘s Marco Matta on “Sky Burial” and “Anna (Requiem to Death)”, the slow progressions and background echoes and other sonic details are highlighted by the relatively minimal arrangements of which they’re part. That is, because there aren’t a kitchen sink’s worth of elements being used, each flourish stands out, perhaps most especially the electric guitar on “Anna (Requiem to Death)” and “Sky Burial,” which opens the LP following the “Intro” of what’s apparently traditional Russian funeral dirge. Make no mistake, however, Covered Mirrors is lush, and Kariti‘s voice sees to that all on its own.

The folk singing at the outset is given an eerie, ghostly echo — voice from the past, manifest — and unfolds into the opening plucked strings and immediate harmonies of “Sky Burial” smoothly as Kariti comes forward in the mix. The electric guitar joins later, adding to the sense of grief and playing off the otherwise soft delivery. Feedback is effective in ending the song as it gives way to “Kybele’s Kiss,” wherein the dynamic of single-voice and layering becomes more prominent. In terms of technique, it’s certainly not that Kariti can’t carry her songs in solo fashion, but the aesthetic choice to layer is engaging where and when employed throughout Covered Mirrors, as on “The Baptism of a Witch,” harder-strummed on the guitar for an angular feel but still well within the bounds of neo-folk in its presentation.

A language switch is easily made, whether you speak Russian or not, and if anything, the themes of loss, death and what lay beyond come through in the mystery of what’s being said as well as in the music surrounding. Bottom line is it is no challenge to follow along the path Kariti is leading. “Penance” follows with a quiet intensity and what feels like more than one progression of guitar happening behind, indeed, more than one progression of voice, but “intensity” must be understood on the relative terms of Covered Mirrors itself. It’s not as though Kariti is suddenly breaking out blastbeats.

kariti

It is striking though when electric guitar arrives at the outset of “Anna (Requiem to Death)” and one is reminded of the atmospheric approach of acts like Silver Summit, as well as the current flush of groups and artists blending together ambient elements of heavy music with folkish styles — the PR wire has a list below if you’re looking for names; I won’t patronize you by repeating them here — but “Anna (Requiem to Death)” is short at just over three minutes, so its mark is made but fleeting, capping with a hard, low, distorted strum giving way to what seems to be manipulated crow calls at the start of “Il Corvo,” which is the only piece on Covered Mirrors to top five minutes.

There is more electric guitar in “Il Corvo” as well that strikes like thunder in the distance of the mix, not so much intended to play off the acoustic and vocal lines as to add to them in atmospheric terms, to flesh out the space in which the rest of the song is happening. Is it a march? Maybe. If so, it’s one given contradiction by the subsequent going-to-ground in “Absent Angels,” which returns Kariti to what one might think of as the foundation upon which the rest of the album is built, namely guitar and voice.

That reset is well timed and a tactic that speaks to some influence from a classic rock LP structure, being that side B is often where an artist might broaden the scope of arrangements or craft — as Kariti does — and then reorient the listener one last time ahead of the finale. A move skillfully employed here, and by no means the first, as subtle shifts have been taking place all along that reveal themselves more with each deeper-dive listen. “Abyss” caps the offering in likewise resonant and spacious fashion, and its lyrics are in English despite the Cyrillic title, but it’s in the ensuing “aah”s and overarching melody that the finale makes its lasting impression. Covered Mirrors is an album for the middle of the night, and the spaces it leaves open in its mix seem to be waiting to be filled by the noises of the natural world — chirping insects, leaves in wind, maybe rainfall.

That the style in which Kariti is immersed has taken on the trappings of a genre does precious little to undercut the emotional impact being made by the material and the album’s execution, and while its power is quiet, it nonetheless exists. In terms of thinking of Covered Mirrors as a debut, the nuances of arrangement stand out as an area that Kariti might continue to explore, whether that’s furthering the use of electric guitar as an atmospheric, sort-of-impressionist element alongside the acoustic, or perhaps even employing keys or percussion of one sort or another should she choose to do so. That those don’t appear in these songs, that this first record is as stripped-to-the-core as it is, is emblematic of the creative bravery involved in its making, and that too resonates when it’s over, whatever promise for the future it might accompany.

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