Following 2015’s remarkable Yellow Bell, Jasmine Guffond finally unveils her sophomore album for Sonic Pieces: Traced develops a broad sound spectrum that goes far beyond her previous efforts.
Influenced by digital surveillance technologies, Guffond examines data generated from facial recognition systems and global monitoring networks and translates their algorithms into auditory shapes. She draws sonic portraits that manage to capture what normally eludes human perception turning peripheral data into deeply engaging compositions. These pieces unfold through shifting drone patterns interspersed with refined cut-up vocal snippets. Commanding bass pulses are counterposed against assemblies of beats and subtly measured guitar. Emotionally suspenseful, the album alternately rises to intense highs that descend into soundscapes almost trancelike in affect. Collectively, the tracks on Traced attest to Guffond’s profoundly sensitive approach to communicating contemporary ideas re-imagined as intricately inventive tonal possibilities.
Traced is a living recording that sounds like something we are yet to encounter. It suggests humanity at the spot it has maneuevered itself into: surrounded by machines, humans have simultaneously become the traceable components of a much wider network. The album’s success lies in its ability to transform socio-technological observations into driving and compellingly expansive sonic structures.