Kim Koschka

Kim Koschka

Bella Maniera


“The word ‘manierism’ was derived from an Italian word ‘maniera’ which means ‘style,’ ‘technique,’ or ‘ecriture.’ Manierists [16th-18th century European artists] methodologically absorbed these manieras of Renaissance masters. They disassembled them. They extracted them out of context and carefully classified them. But then they recombined them in the most amazing manner and succeeded in creating something entirely new.”

–Kim Koschka

Pretty heady stuff, hunh? Well, reading the liner notes and then listening to Kim Koschka’s Bella Maniera, one quickly realizes that we’re dealing with a woman with a serious intellect. Where her manierist progenitors deconstructed such masters as Raphael, da Vinci, and Michelangelo, Koschka takes the forms of hip-hop, the avant-garde, classical, world, rock, and electronica, and places them into a Texas Chainsaw blender, and goes to work. The sounds you hear are a test to the pedestrian. If McDonald’s dictates your diet and Sony your tastes, then this disc is definitely not for you. By mixing all these different genres, Koschka’s music becomes indefinable. There is not one category you can place this artist in — though many may want to throw the disc into the trash bin. Which would be unfortunate, because Koschka really does have a vision. This is not mere sampling or a schizophrenic display of all the music she likes. She combines these disparate influences into an integrative whole. It’s hard to toe-tag it because the music is desperately alive. Sure, Bell Maniera will challenge; it will sometimes even grate; but one has to admire the artistry and courage and ambition of a woman who’s subtitled one of her works “drum n’ bass for grand orchestra.”

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