You’d think that between Trust and Austra, the talented Maya Postepski would have all her free time accounted for. So it was somewhat surprising to learn that she’s also embarked on a solo project titled Princess Century…
Releasing a vinyl-only album titled Lossless in April 2013, Postepski demonstrated a flair for the experimental. Those expecting Lossless to be retreads of Austra/Trust material are probably going to be disappointed. Instead, this is Postepksi exploring sound and composition.
Lossless (inspired in part by the Charles Manson murders) shows Maya experimenting with a variety of approaches to electronic music and mixing, often with dark overtones. ‘Le Rayon Vert’ pulls in video game tunes and acts in some ways as an overture for the album, while ‘Palace’ gives us a brooding drum machine-driven track augmented with vague vocals.
It’s clear that Maya is less interested in conventional song composition and more interested in exploring sound forms and styles. As a result, many of the vocal elements tend to be obscured in washes of echo (as with ‘Twin House’) or used for rhythmic effect (such as on the ominous tones of ‘PiG’)
A clearer take on Maya’s pipes is evident on ‘Giving It Away’ while ‘Love and Money’ (a collaboration with Danish electronic musician Heidi Mortenson) presents a track featuring the metallic-sounding percussion that Maya uses to great effect on Austra material.
Meanwhile, ‘Crummy Bones’ is more of a lo-fi percussion-driven track with brief synth interludes. ‘Das Schlimmste’ paints a soundscape in battleship grey for an electronic composition that hints at menace. The synthetic soundscape and beats of ‘Heaven Rock’ presents one of Lossless’ finest moment with its electronic melodies and dreamlike moods. At times it sounds like Kraftwerk playing with triphop!
While no precise details about where Princess Century will be going with the new album, a contribution to a recent Stellar Kinematics compilation suggests a much tighter approach to future material. The track, titled ‘Rendezvous’, offers up a percussive number that could almost be Austra meets Jean Michel Jarre.
A follow-up album (as yet untitled) is scheduled for release in the spring
Text by Paul Browne
2nd January 2014