Ben Vida & Marina Rosenfeld “Leaving”

Ben Vida and Marina Rosenfeld’s last two collaborative efforts, Feel Anything and Vertice, are striking sound worlds. On their latest collaboration, Leaving, they take elements (literally and figuratively) from those pieces and grind them through the prism of our current situation. Leaving is a heavy meditation on our current reality. It’s an invigorating listen, almost alien at times, but imbued with an austere melancholy that I cannot escape.

Rosenfeld is one of the great, underappreciated artists of our time (seriously, P.A./Hard Love is essential listening) and in combination with Ben Vida, a kind of mechanical magic unfolds. Across 32 minutes of resonant space, Leaving teems with life offset by loss. Crickets chirp while guttural blips fold into grinding oscillations full of anxiety. Melodic sequences emerge from far away, distant calls of longing and forgotten dreams. 

The deep drones feel permanent, solid. Yet, the varying stages of digital ephemera and sonic detritus rising from desolate ash are capricious and ever-changing. Gliding across a dark glass surface, the reflections beneath these sonic patterns are distorted, a twisted reality barely recognizable. Throughout Leaving these passages shift perspective like blueprints crumpled and thrown away before being laid flat again, full of creases and tears. It’s a different world, terrifying and alluring as if the hissing fires with reach won’t burn us.

Leaving is aurally enticing, but the emotional rift running through it is poignant. Rosenfeld and Vida are masters and this longform meditation unfolds as an impeccably crafted narrative. So many moments stick with me, but the everlasting growls of a world in passive decay sting the most.

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