Ciel announces debut album ‘Homesick’

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Ciel has announced her debut album, ‘Homesick’, which has been some two years in the making, spurred on by a “productive creative streak and the economic austerity of pandemic lockdowns”.

Set for release on November 24, lead track ‘Bamboo’ is available to check out now, which employs floaty synths and delicate, chopped-up vocals to create an enchanting opening to the full body of work.

Working on the record involved researching the rich history of Chinese instruments, forming its concept whereby the self proclaimed “DJ first, producer second” could combine her love of sampling and analogue instruments with its outcome exploring sounds of drum ‘n’ bass, electro, house, breaks, and even downtempo.

Read this next: Get to know Ciel, the artist and promoter showcasing melodic, off-kilter electro and breakbeat

Eight types of traditional Chinese instruments were used as a guideline – silk, bamboo, wood, stone, metal, clay, gourd and hide – with a track written focused on one of the eight. Ciel then hired traditional Chinese instrumentalists to play the guzheng and the xiao, whilst teaching herself the smaller hand drum instruments such as the kuaiban and muyu.

“I never thought I’d gain the self-confidence to write an album,” she wrote on her Instagram. “It wasn’t until after spending time away from clubs & festivals whilst dedicating myself to daily sessions in the studio that I found the motivation and aspiration to make a musical statement that only an album could express.

“Like many other Chinese diaspora people in the West, I had felt a great deal of pain at the rise of anti-Chinese sentiment and racism in the media after the start of the covid-19 pandemic. Tired of expressing my frustrations online, I felt inspired to channel that into my music, to turn something that was filled with hate into a thing of joy and beauty. It was within this context that Homesick began to take shape.”

Read this next: Ciel gives us the inside track on Toronto

‘Homesick’ by Ciel is available to pre-order now via Parallel Minds with lead track ‘Bamboo’ available now. Check it out here.

Niamh Ingram is Mixmag’s Weekend Editor, follow her on Twitter

Written by: Tim Hopkins

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