Tsembla's 'Penumbra' Illuminates The Edges Of Shadows : All Songs Considered Finnish musician Marja Ahti combines her own Japanese field recordings with whistling synths and cut-up electronics for some music most tranquil.
NPR logo Tsembla's 'Penumbra' Illuminates The Edges Of Shadows

Tsembla's 'Penumbra' Illuminates The Edges Of Shadows

Tsembla. Laurent Orseau/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Laurent Orseau/Courtesy of the artist

Tsembla.

Laurent Orseau/Courtesy of the artist

The penumbra is the shadow beyond the shadow, its light only partially blocked by an object. Think of an eclipse, but only being able to experience the edge of it. Tsembla's "Penumbra" achieves a similar effect, its sound sources familiar, but obscured by some very chill electronic rhythms.

Marja Ahti is a Finnish musician who has worked with the psychedelic collective Kemialliset Ystävät and recently started the trio IAX with Jonna Karanka (Kuupuu) and Laura Naukkarinen (Lau Nau). For her new record under the Tsembla moniker, A Hole in the Landscape, Ahti took field recordings she made in Japan and combined them with whistling synths and cut-up electronics. It's tranquil, imaginative music that ingests small worlds. Just when you think you've locked into its sonic realm, Ahti gently glues on new pieces of the collage to widen the lush and strange frame.

In the song's video, the visual artist Katri Sipiläinen sets "Penumbra" to a psychedelic color painting. Put on your headphones and go full-screen on this one — it might just reset your brain.

YouTube

The Hole in the Landscape comes out May 25 via NNA (physical, digital).