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Experimental Beacon Evicshen Creates An Atmospheric Journey With New Album Hair Birth

By Sam Gruca for Brain Arts Organization

June 17, 2020

BAO is dedicated to uplifting and supporting the voices of Black content creators and we recognize the discussions of white supremacy and police brutality are essential and ongoing. Click here to check out our recent blog post, a toolkit of resources for supporting BIPOC creatives.

We believe art is essential to revolution, and are also dedicated to covering experimental music. Evicshen (aka Victoria Shen) as well as her label, American Dreams Records, have donated their portion of digital sales to Assata's Daughters. Assata’s Daughters, “organizes young Black people in Chicago by providing them with political education, leadership development, mentorship, and revolutionary services.”

We asked Sam G (aka Pain Chain to give us their take on their noise peer Victoria's new joint. Enjoy.


Evicshen's new record, Hair Birth is coming out this summer on Chicago label, American Dreams Records. It is available in multiple formats: CD, Vinyl, as well as a special edition speaker cover. I was able to get my hands on a copy of the CD prior to its release to give you an inside look at the album.

I've had the pleasure of getting to know Victoria over the course of the past two years. We've played quite a few shows and fests together. The first time I saw her perform was in a basement in Boston and I was blown away. She utilizes the entire space, light sources, diy synths, and a variety of amplified objects.

“Her performances are sure to get your adrenaline flowing as she projects herself into the crowd, conveying a sense of danger and confrontation.”

Hair Birth is a journey. Pulsing synths provide texture, depth, and rhythm throughout. Some parts are even metallic sounding. There are stark volume changes that play a significant role in the atmosphere Victoria is creating. From the feeling of being launched through space, to dense claustrophobia, and even a sense of serenity when we fully immerse ourselves in these soundscapes we can allow ourselves to feel and interpret the story Victoria is conveying.

Not only is Hair Birth auditory, but it can also be experienced as a physical being. There is a special edition vinyl record with a jacket that functions as a speaker. This is best explained through Victoria's own words: : “The art is the speaker and the speaker is the art. The width of a continuous copper coil is modulated as it radiates across the surface of the jacket, rendering the image of my face mid-performance from a show last summer in Kumamoto, Japan. The coil, when connected to an audio amplifier and placed in front of a magnet, turns the material of the cover into an active speaker membrane. The whole thing dances and vibrates in your hands as you listen to the album, as it pushes the particles in the air back and forth to create invisible waves that we perceive to be sound.”


Cover image for this piece originally posted on Evicshen's Instagram.

Hair Birth is available for pre-order now, the official release date is July 17, 2020.

Be sure to check out "Under The Stall Door" and "Bolete", two singles from Hair Birth out now as well as "Fever Pitch", single and video dropping July 1st.


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