In Death is Home, Swiss artist Aïsha Devi intricately weaves nostalgia, provenance, and futurism themes, a continuum from her debut LP Of Matter and Spirit (2015). This, the third album in her discography, advances her personal philosophy by delving deep into reflections on her heritage and enigmatic late father, the Nepalese drummer, B.K. Gurung.

Devi's journey through traumatic experiences of isolation and abuse translates into music that reimagines the club as a site of therapy and healing. The album's first single, Mind Era, perfectly encapsulates this space.

Devi's signature Aetherave style—a fusion of bass-heavy club beats and ethereal aesthetics—is evident throughout the album. It's a dizzying blend that feels both kinetic and contemplative. In Death is Home, she propels listeners towards extremes, bending beats and cybernetic textures into transformational songs. The album notably features tremulous, high-pitched voices and hybrid motifs, creating a sound drawn from where we exist before birth and after death, blurring boundaries between the living and non-living.

The album commences with Not Defined by the Visible, a track that immediately draws the listener into Devi's matrix. The high-pitched synths spiral into a complex, ecstatic frenzy, setting a precedent for the album's ability to juxtapose ethereal and concrete through nonlinear progressions of a cavernous milieu. The lyrical content reflects a journey of self-discovery and transformation, echoing Arca's existential musings and experimental boldness ("Burn the flesh / a Deva's born"). This theme of duality and contrast is further explored in Immortelle, where laser-like precision meets guttural drill bass, creating an electrifying, almost disorienting experience.

In the eerily architectured second single Dimensional Spleen, a collaboration with Kenyan producer Slikback, Devi melds Kongo Tekno and Drill into a simultaneously unsettling and captivating soundscape. The rhythmic disjunctions and trance-induced rush-ups contrast starkly with the contemplative nature of the 8-minute album closer Azoth Eyes, where melodies teeter on the edge of dissolution, anchored only by the grounding force of static crescendos.

The album's emotional zenith is arguably Unborn Yet Alive, where Devi creates a digital séance of sorts. Trance stabs and trap 808s merge with a hazy vinyl crackle. Her otherwordly voice, reaching its soprano apex, undergoes real-time remixing, distorting into an almost unrecognizable state. This track and The Infinite Chemistry of the Betwixt (Tool) are emblematic of Devi's exploration of the space between life and death, the seen and unseen, with lyrics like "I am neither a one or zero. I am neither dead or alive."

In Lick Your Wounds, Devi reveals her deepest traumas, pacifying them with ritualistic rhythms and melancholic pads. The lyrics, "Vapors of violence remain in my broken bones, intoxicate my DNA / I'll lick my wounds and heal at night / I'll take over," are a powerful invocation of the oft-long road to healing and self-empowerment.

Ultimately, Death is Home challenges listeners to rethink the boundary between life and death, the physical and the metaphysical. Devi's exploration of themes set against a backdrop of Greek tragedy, string theory, and The Vedas gives the album a depth rarely seen in the era of Instagram producers and multi-platform musical branding. Each track contributes to a personal and universal narrative, a journey through Devi's history and her vision for the future of music. As a culmination of Devi's exploration of sound since transitioning from her Kate Wax alias, each release since, including DNA Feelings and S.L.F., has explored different aspects of her sound, from icy, abstract minimalism to club ferocity and pure darkness. Death is Home finds a softer middle ground, showcasing Devi's vulnerability and singularity.


Photography by Cristian Andersson @cristian.andersson_
Styling by Mary Garlic 2000 @marygarlic2000
Make-up & Hair by Sharon Soe @sharon.soe