Klein is a builder of sounds. She constructs variants of moods pieced together by sudden changes. Like you can change from happy to sad. From drowsy to energetic.
This outsider composer hails from south London and she has made quite a name for herself. Across five years of recorded output, she’s been on a journey in sound. Her earliest recordings consisted of murky downer electronica. Gradually, she’s started to include various classical elements.
Klein’s latest album, Harmattan, was released on Dutch classical label Pentatone, and it has been described as “a soundtrack of epic revolt against beginnings and ends”. It expands your idea of what classical music can be. And what experimental music can be. Harmattan album was composed for orchestra (that was before the pandemic intervened).
The music swirls in a mix of elements similar to the harmattan, which is the name of a season that occurs across west Africa, where dust from the Sahara is blown in from the north, subsuming the otherwise harsh light of the sun and creating an otherworldly haze.
Some tracks are dense and claustrophobic while others bring about patterns and cycles that can make you disoriented whilst feeling quite joyful at the same time.
The amazing thing about Klein is that she takes all her adventurousness and explorations even further out on a live stage. Adapted instruments, uncanny vocals and distorted sonic artifacts collide to create a dizzying tapestry of surreal experimental electronics.