7th Annual Transmodern Festival April 15 – April 18, 2010


    Picture 30Artist and musician Marcia Bassett began releasing solo works as Zaïmph in 2003, appropriating the name from Gustav Flaubert’s hallucinatory novel Salammbô. In Salammbô, the Zaïmph is the holy magical veil that guards the statue of the moon goddess Tanit.

    In this lunar spirit, Zaïmph’s music conveys an atmosphere of glittering bedlam concealing nocturnal vistas of transcendence, bliss, and eternity. Under the Zaïmph veil, Bassett utilizes guitar and vocals to transform both song and noise, creating shimmering metallic drones that unexpectedly shift to cracked ragas or brutal, white-hot noise. Her sound is both seductive and laden with crackling premonitions of ultimate apocalypse.

    Apart from numerous releases on her own Heavy Blossom imprint, Zaïmph CDs and LPs have appeared on independent labels such as Hospital Productions, W.M.O.r, Utech Records, Gypsy Sphinx, and Volcanic Tongue. Her latest LP appears on No Fun records, a label curated by Carlos Giffoni and related to the New York based No Fun festival, where Bassett has appeared in various guises (including Zaïmph) over the years.

    As a co-founder of Philadelphia’s shambolic psychonauts un and tectonic drone pioneers Double Leopards, Bassett’s roots deeply entwine with the American noise underground, and mapped sonic regions still only dimly understood by subsequent travelers. As gaps in Double Leopards activity gradually expanded, Bassett joined up with Matthew Bower in Hototogisu, where her mastery of cacophonous eardrum shred achieved monolithic proportions.

    Bassett is a frequent collaborator with a wide spectrum of musicians including Helen Espvall (Espers), Samara Lubelski, Margarida Garcia, and Jenny Graf (Metalux). She is a member of Zaika (with Tom Carter of Charalambides) and Purple Haze (with Taylor Richardson of Infinity Window).

    Bassett currently lives in an ill-coded building perched above urban vistas of delicately arranged trash in New York City.

    …ever-changing, fluid… intensely changing formations of blissful drone polyphony.” – foxy digitalis, April 2007

    The riffs slowly crawl across the cold night air, slowly becoming more and more psychedelic… dissolving into pure madness.” – Brainwashed, Dec. 2007

    “…blasting a hole through the flimsy wall that separates ‘dark psychedelic’ and ‘free drone-rock’.” – Paris Transatlantic, Summer 2009

    “Grim tales… coalesce into a leaden curtain of narcotic minimalism.” – The Wire, Sept. 2007

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