Since her debut under the Azu Tiwaline alias (meaning “eyes of the wind” in Berber) in 2020, the Tunisian musician has earned a growing reputation for her heady, hypnotic polyrhythmic tracks. Her compositions have a highly telluric, atavistic quality, feeling like complex attempts to commune with ancestors both past and future. The Saharan desert, to which she feels deeply connected, is a central element in her work, acting as a grounding element on which to build her intricate rhythmical missives.
Vesta takes a slightly different approach than her previous work, using a celestial rather than earthly inspiration in the form of the eponymous asteroid whose fragments were found in the desert. Astronauts have speculated that Vesta might have been a planet at first, given the materials found which resemble the terrestrial planets in the Solar System. This symbolism is not lost on the musician, driving her to create futuristic cosmic techno fictions while staying true to her signature percussive elements.
Recorded around the same time as her breakthrough Magnetic Service EP, Vesta feels its polar opposite, although similar in spirit. Where Magnetic Service was slow and sparse, Vesta draws closer to recognizable club vocabulary, using repetition to create dense, smoky techno incantations. On “Lowww”, she teams up with Franco-Iranian percussionist and producer Cinna Peyghamy again to create a larger-than-life booming echo of drums that might have been heard across the galaxy. On “Medium Time” an infections rhythm slowly emerges from swarms of insect noises and an almighty kick-drum, only to morph into an irresistible melody. “Into The Void” pushes the element of scale once again, creating a gigantic drum environment with the all-enveloping qualities of swimming underwater. The Drexciyan and Basic Channel influences are hard to ignore, creating perhaps one of her most distinguishingly club-friendly tracks. “Deep Theko” draws back to her previous sensibilities while using a very evocative otherworldly sonic palette, with sounds that bring to mind satellites and interplanetary radars.
Vesta proves that Azu Tiwaline has reached a point where she is secure enough in her choices to create an album that both elaborates on and diverges from her signature style, showing that the basis of her work is not so much an aesthetic but a philosophy that permeates everything she does.
Vesta is out now on vinyl and digital download via I.O.T Records.