Following an impressive turnover of cassette releases in the last three years, it feels almost surprising that Wilted Woman’s new 12” EP is only her first. A revered name on the underground dance music circuit, Wilted Woman, aka Eel Burn, is perhaps best known for her arresting live sets. A true expert in the machinations of analogue gear, Wilted Woman herself has admitted that ‘the flexibility of a piece living more in a live context’ is much more appealing ‘than in the static state of a recording.’ Diary of a Woman is a clear reflection of this attitude, mainly showcasing tracks which have evolved from previous live material. The result is a record with a continually forward-moving trajectory, capturing both the skill and dynamism of Wilted Woman’s live act.
Opener Trudeau (Dither) suitably sets the tone, unleashing a cacophony of analogue glitches and staccato bleeps. What follows is a masterclass in modular experimentalism, with Wilted Woman interweaving sounds from across the electronic music spectrum. Elements of noise, industrial, acid, and techno all feature, reflecting an eclecticism in taste which can also be heard in the producer’s regular slot on Berlin Community Radio. Jaeger is a true product of this synthesis, combining the clangs and echoes of dissonant synths with sporadic inflections of skipping drum patterns. The track’s intermittent racing techno under-rhythms provide its most exciting moments, reminding listeners of Wilted Woman’s club suitability alongside her noise and 8-bit origins.
A record of such complex craftsmanship, Diary of a Woman sees the perpetual construction and deconstruction of electronic sounds in what feels like a constantly mutating piece of work. The sharply scattered synth notes and percussive scratches of Somehow and Tick’s stuttering kicks are just a few examples of the intricate details which Wilted Woman entwines so expertly into her polyrhythmic compositions. Turning to slightly heavier acid-techno tones in the EP’s final stages, both the spacey synth stabs of Warmer and the splintered vocals set to Dorau’s steadier grinding beat make for hypnotic listens. It’s a fitting ending to record which exudes both creative and technical prowess, and feels a true representation of Wilted Woman’s masterful command of sonic hardware. In this sense, Diary of a Woman seems the perfect name, providing an authentic glimpse into the workings of Wilted Woman’s unique and personal live sound.
Words: Georgia Tobin