Track By Track: E-Saggila - Corporate Cross

The Toronto-based artist guides us through her new album on Hospital Productions.

Track By Track: E-Saggila - Corporate Cross

The Toronto-based artist guides us through her new album on Hospital Productions.

E-Saggila is the moniker of Iraqi-born, Canadian sound artist Rita Mikhael, which has served as an outlet for her singular brand of electronic music. 

Touching on elements of noise, breakcore and ambient, since her debut five years ago on Summer Isle she’s quickly built a solid catalogue of EPs and long players, each opening new windows into her skills as a producer. Albums for Bank Records, Northern Electronics, Opal Tapes and Night Void followed, as well as several EPs, exploring intricate sound design, twisted rhythms and contemporary composition.

The same goes for her newest outing Corporate Cross, a debut LP for NYC-based Hospital Productions. Taking inspiration from social anthropologist Mary Douglas and her concepts of “dirt” as a form of disruption to order, E-Saggila constructs nine tracks that explore the different facets of sound — you’ll find tracks for weighty club systems sitting alongside deep introspective cuts for home listening.  

Explaining the context and meaning behind the release, E-Saggila says, “This album is a framework of placement and displacement of what I recognize as organic and instinctive. The constructed sounds draw a parallel between primalism and mechanization, where structure and disorder mimic themselves through these titles. A lot of these ideas are based off of the environment I come in contact with and the familiar expression and tone that is set into this album. It's a narration of transparent rhythms and patterns I see as natural, but to the listener is observed as ambiguous. Corporate Cross scans through the themes of novelty in human and animal, endemic and deterioration, and the sub-systems of our concealed environment.

Following the release of the album on 20th November, she guides us through, breaking down each track one by one…

Redcloud

Colour: A rusty kind of red, like peeling paint.

Season: Late spring.

This track is the entryway to the album that prepares for the rest to come. I wanted to literally walk into it aided by the intro sample. This entire album is something of a new experience for me and I wanted the listener to feel the same way. There's a different framework from how I usually work, like adding elements of guitar and harmonizing vocals.

Setting: The ideal setting for this track in the parking lot.

Replica

Colour: Mossy type of green.

Season: Another spring vibe for me.

Inspiration: This track kind of starts off warm for me then takes a more laggy turn in the end. It's supposed to be kind of playful and something that chases you.

Setting: Ideal setting for this would be in Mount Leuser National Park.

9 Digest

Colour: Pink.

Season: Dry summer.

Inspiration: Some of these tracks I wanted to keep the drums and percussion out and focus on traveling through this album in other ways. It's inspired by hardware sounds without using hardware.

Setting: This one should be heard in the morning.

Mouth In Reach

Colour: Metallic Blue.

Season: Heatwave. 

Inspiration: This track to me is a more animated version of '9 Digest' and incorporates the traditional drumwork I usually produce. It's kind of a tale of two different endings with how it's structured.

Setting: This one should be heard and played in the club. 

Cellygrin

Colour: Gunmetal grey.

Season: Winter.

Inspiration: This one is probably one of my favorites with the combined hook and compositions. I like the idea of working with automated media and using these samples to create an anthem.

Setting: It's both sloppy and organized. Ideal setting would be on the bus. 

For The Butterfly

Colour: Baby Blue.

Season: Early Spring.

Inspiration: This track is the most delicate to me. It's inspired by an environment and sensation I rarely come across.

Setting: It's a dedication to an undomesticated state and should be heard in one.

Slowland

Colour: Olive.

Season: Wet Summer.

Inspiration: A lot of these tracks were built in my head during hiking trails through the woods. This one specifically is inspired by all the tree frogs I came across.

Setting: A night trail after a rainy day.

Corporate Cross

Colour: Pale Red.

Season: Autumn.

Inspiration: The title track is another kind of two parter story. Both faces have their own uncomfortable framework to them and I let the track write itself as if it had a habitual nature to it.

Setting: In an unpleasant environment.

Mantis Print

Colour: #74c365.

Season: Smog.

Inspiration: This closing track is supposed to be unsettling, remote with an open ending. The inspiration for this whole album is offbeat and deviant. It's nature and machine formed together and I wanted to close it off with a radiant veil.

Setting: The ideal setting for this track is on the staircase to my grandmother's apartment. 


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