Cucina Povera’s third LP Tyyni is a set of spectral, warped pieces that hover on the edge of torch-song and some more abstract style of songwriting. Across the record the Finnish-born, Glasgow-based artist uses her own voice as much as a tool for creating atmosphere as she does as a focal-point around which other instrumentation - largely glitching electronics, but also piano and things that might be heavily-processed stringed instruments - can coalesce. The result is a hugely evocative listen that is all the more captivating for its spare, haunted quality.
As was also the case on previous Cucina Povera LPs Zoom and Hilja, one finds oneself struggling to identify Tyyni within a particular genre. Sure, there are nods to various styles of music across the record: opener ‘Salvia Salvatrix’ rumbles along on a bassline that could have been ripped from some golden-age minimal-wave tune; the beat of ‘Teerenpeli’ lurches like an early Hype Williams relic; there is something of Zola Jesus to the Gothic electronics of ‘Pölytön nurkka’. However, the treatments of these tones here are highly idiosyncratic.
Listening to this record conjures up an image of Cucina Povera pushing her tracks out onto a cold, icy plain, watching them fend for themselves as she serenades them, her voice carried on the wind. Particularly when taken with the faintly techno-dystopian air that is conveyed by the record’s chewed-up synth tones and digital distortions, it becomes tempting to align Tyyni with the work of similarly unclassifiable artists like Lyra Pramuk and Holly Herndon.
Tyyni is the latest collection of icy, experimental electronic songcraft from Cucina Povera (Maria Rossi).