Phew - Voice Hardcore

Every once in a while there is a record that seems to exist outside of time. A record that circumvents the contemporary trends and aesthetics so much so that it’s unclear when or where the music comes from. When I heard Phew's Voice Hardcore a couple of weeks ago, it immediately caught my attention because it sounded like something out of this world. The easiest comparison to make would be Yoko Ono due to her trademark non-verbal vocal style of composition. However after a few listens one thing becomes abundantly clear; Phew's music feels as if it exists solely for the sake of the sonic experience as opposed to music firmly rooted in the name of conceptual art. By the end of the first side, I was certain this had to be a reissue so when I discovered it was a new release, its allure only intensified. Released in Japan at the end of 2017, the only instrument on this album is the voice of Phew processed by electronic effects which brings to mind Joan La Barbara’s work in extended solo vocal techniques. But Phew is still in a class of her own. It's hard to find an album that is this effective with only one instrument, let alone that instrument being the human voice. Phew is quoted as saying, “What is music? There is no correct answer,” and that sense of provocation may be what makes this album feel so liberated, focused, and endearing. (Adam)
Check out a track here.