065 - Sign Libra
Sign Libra is the performing alias of Agata Melnikova, a composer and artist from Latvia. Inspired by the exploration of nature, the cosmos and their influence on human imagination, she creates sonic universes that feel simultaneously intimate and celestial.
Following her debut album under the Sign Libra moniker in 2018, composed for a contemporary ballet, she joined the incredible New York label RVNG Intl. in 2020 for her sophomore LP Sea to Sea. That album was my first run-in with Agata's wonderful work and one that I keep going back to. It’s a gorgeously playful, sonically rich and imaginative project that explores the mythical ''seas'' of the Moon, known collectively as Lunar Maria.
Here, for her mixtape, Agata has once again drawn inspiration from aquatic themes, putting together a collection of tracks to soundtrack an 'imaginary underwater discotheque'. Her selections mirror the joyous and kinetic feeling of 'Sea to Sea' creating a mix packed full of serotonin hits.
Give it a spin and go check out Agata's two full lengths here and here. Both come highly recommended and Sea to Sea is a personal favourite from this year. I can't wait to see what she does next.
You can read a short Q&A between myself and Agata below:
Artwork by Jack Hardwicke.
Can you tell us a bit about this mixtape, what was the inspiration behind it?
This is just kind of imaginary underwater discotheque where plays breezy, bouncy and a little bit of bubbly-experimental music!
We have to talk about one of the tracks you selected because 'Analogue Bubblebath' is one of my all time favourite pieces of music - what do you think makes this track so great?
I think it’s because the music perfectly transmits a given title of the track – it sounds really fresh and with a funny dose of synth “soapiness”. Appearing lovely motive by the end of the track makes a listener even more happy!
Your incredible album 'Sea to Sea' was released earlier this year on RVNG. How has the reception been to the new work?
From a professional point of view, it would be nice to get a bit more public interest and thoughtfulness in some reviews on the album, but I am truly happy there are listeners, who are digging my artistic work and are expressing love for “Sea to Sea”!
How are you coping without the prospect of live touring during the pandemic?
No doubt, live shows would be necessary right now for the album promotion and some material support, but I am using this time for a further development of the project as well.
Can you tell us a bit about the traditional musical cultures/sounds of Latvia?
Traditionally Latvia is known as “singing country” because of its melodic folk song and choral music heritage. Speaking of more contemporary sounds, I would say, it is something between Eurovision song cliches and experimental salad.
What's next for Sign Libra?
Hiroshi Satoh – Aqua
Double Fantasy – Endless Running
Seahawks – Glass World
The Grid – Floatation (Subsonic Grid Mix)
Perishing Thirst – Morning Light
Aphex Twin – Analogue Bubblebath
Genuine – Playground
Sign Libra – Sea of Cleverness
Inner Harmony – Da Lub Club
Dreamscape – New Age
Seydinah – A La Folie (Club Mix)
James Ferraro – Adventures In Green Foot Printing
Fiedler, Eitner, Schlott – Unit II