By: Kai Teo
Photos: César Ortiz
Tlöntopia – Norra Grängesbergsgatan, Malmö, Sweden
28 May 2016
We’ve always found it cheesy to say that a performance is a full experience – until we experienced the might of Aja.
Also known as Aja Ireland, the humble musician from Nottingham started her musical journey experimenting with techno, angelic vocals and even meddled with her own rebellious brand of rap. Aja’s wide array of sounds has been featured on BBC Radio, and she has played live in the UK, Berlin, Sweden, and even Goa, India.
Her talents and talons grasped the attention of Malmö’s underground club Tlön, and a quick flight later, she set foot in the deep underbelly of industrial Malmö, a perfect setting for her harshly melodic noise experiments and eye-gouging, magical visual overload.
As the crowd started packing up the raw, yet cosy venue. The unsuspecting dancers and lovers didn’t know what they were in for – Aja wasn’t just a DJ that would gladly stand behind the console and play tunes for your peruse.
She was there to control your entire mindscape and dominate your senses.
Then the lights dimmed, and a mind-piercing static filled the air. We were now in Aja’s universe. And she was our Almighty. Our every trace of existence was now under her control.
Jarring cacophony set the scene for a post-apocalyptic industrial wasteland, devoid of hope and light. Then she opened her holy mouth and golden rays of pure, heavenly vocals beamed into everyone’s wide opened eyes. She was the saviour, and we were all believers.
She took control of our every sense, and our minds, leaving no room for individual thought, robbing us of our egos, and many of us stood there motionless, dumbfounded, in awe and as one, melted being.
Aja was aided by her multitalented kaleidoscope princess, Ina, one of the organisers of Tlön, who helped create live visuals across the room with crystals, cellophane, cameras and voodoo.
In this realm, there was no time, no space, no individuality. We were all one in Aja’s domain. Her shrieks were our thunder, the strobes were our lightning bolts, and as she laid the heavy bass, our hearts beat to it.
For once, words can’t do the Aja Experience justice, neither would her soundcloud, nor her youtube videos. It’s something you have to immerse yourself in, live. Because everything else pales in comparison.
There were noise, melodies, techno, screams, singing, homemade instruments, everything blended into a cocktail of madness and beauty. There was no genre to box her in. Calling it “experimental” would only allow you graze the tip of her tongue as her sounds lick your ears mercilessly.
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