In performance, Malena Stefano presents a tall, thin, seemingly frail figure, nevertheless energized with a burning spiritual intensity : part Nephilim waif, part killer priest. (The first time we heard her DJ, she launched into her set with music from the Islamic State.) Live, she improvises, murmurs and sobs over glitchily pastoral electronic clouds.
But for her first Dionysian Industrial EP she offers no such personal performance. Instead this is a Do-it-yourself toolkit for enhanced spiritual discipline; inspired by the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola and the fasting and religious observances required during Ramadan, the hard asceticism demanded by nomadic monotheism.
There is majesty in this music. And quietness. Lonely desert winds. Sparkling grains of light. And harsh distortion.
In Malena’s own words : “an aggressive, raw, uncomfortable and stimulating background track”, without vocals, to accompany your own meditation, prayer and abstinence. Or for you to add your own vocal improvisations, mantras, speaking in tongues, cries in the wilderness.