Educate Your Ears: Sabiwa

‘輪迴’ (English: reincarnation) is the second album from Taiwanese sound and performance artist Sabiwa, out now on tape and digital via Chinabot. Over 12 tracks she interprets reincarnation through bass-heavy rhythms, dissected sound art and intense vocal gymnastics. The starting point of Sabiwa’s compositions is her voice – vocal performances abstracted into building blocks for her music. Jia sees her move from mournful ritual to a delay-soaked chorus as the track lurches into ultra-minimal dubstep. On I introduce myself, she takes the role of robotic narrator, while Wo de shijan has her chanting over field recorded tumult.

Sabiwa creates multi-textured patterns through electronics, sampling and field recordings, shattering the barriers between synthetic and natural sound. Caronte jumps from high energy percussive workout into a bed of whispering voices. Taranta’s glitched samples meanwhile, seem to be in a constant process of decay and rebirth.

“‘輪’ means turn,” Sabiwa explains. “‘迴’ means return to, so “‘輪迴’ means reincarnation”. Those are the words of the singing I recorded in Taiwan and I use in the tape, it’s a funeral ceremony. It’s basically about the circle of life. With this album, I left my previous form to transform into something new. It’s like jumping into the void and not knowing what will be next.”

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