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Fear Is The World

  • Title: Fear Is The World
  • Artist: Atariame
  • Label: Constellation Tatsu
  • Format: Tape
  • Genres: Experimental Electronic, Synth-Pop, Avant-Folk, Ambient, Singer/Songwriter, Misc Asia & Middle East
  • Price: €6,90EU (incl. 19% VAT)€5,80non-EU

This is a collection of songs I recorded during cold, dark and windy winter of 2016-17, under grey and white sky without sun in St. Petersburg.

"“There is a story about one of the moods I love in music,” says Russian singer, songwriter, and musician Atariame. “It’s that feeling when you are desperately running fast in the street, or when you are trembling and shaking from emotional overflow. I often make songs that make me feel this way. It is emotionally tiresome, but it feels like a whole new life.”

When encountering Atariame’s music, desperation and trembling might not be the first things that come to mind. The songs on her new tape, Fear is the World, are dreamy and meditative, replete with floating synths, fluid guitar, and her airy, reverberant voice. But give each track time to sink in, and tense undercurrents emerge. There’s even something eerie about the way she unspools her pieces as if she’s unleashing ghosts—it’s enough that the tape easily earns its name.

For Atariame, the title Fear of the World has personal resonance too. It refers in part to her tendency to stay indoors during the severe winters of her Russian home city. “St. Petersburg’s environment is aggressive,” she explains. “It’s cold, no sun. Lots of people smoke cigarettes just next to you, and there are parked cars everywhere.” Though she’s friendly with some close-by musicians and occasionally does mixes for local radio, she’s most comfortable working in isolation.

Fear of the World is also about confronting internal fears, which can be as frightening as anything outside. “I write about my personal issues, and I am quite easily scared,” Atariame explains. “Thanks to feminist community websites and my talks with friends, I got rid of some of my doubts, and now I know that there’s no shame in feeling like I missed out on my youth, feeling not pretty enough all the time, or worrying about not being liked by everyone. These things used to be very important for me. So I collected it all and made an album out of it.”

The result is songs that, while not exactly cinematic, do conjure a phantom visual component. “When I record, I have certain pictures in my head for every mix,” Atariame admits. “I think of colors and objects that the tracks’ details might resemble. Like, there has to be a transparent voice, a feather and glass, violet and shaggy synth, and guitar like a spider’s web.” Her singing usually comes last in that mix; she’ll often record five or six vocal takes and then layer them into the music. “I put [my voice] in different surroundings, like taking a photo of a teddy bear in every new country you visit,” she says. “I’d like to put it into industrial or hip-hop or techno music, as well.”

Atariame got into music by studying violin in school, though she admits she wasn’t sure why—and neither were her parents nor tutors. “I usually skipped the lessons and stayed at home and played guitar,” she says. “At that time, music lessons and punk rock seemed not to be connected in any way.” She’s now even more devoted to writing and playing, but she still maintains a day job, and seems to thrive off that dichotomy. “Once I said to myself that if I had a second life, I’d like to be a musician, that’s how I understood it,” she asserts. Judging by the levels of beauty and intrigue on Fear of The World, Atariame made the right decision."