Stellar OM Source’s new album, Joy One Mile, marks a certain and spirited departure into worlds unknown. A faithful leap into the infinite beat, Joy One Mile is the most forward-reaching effort by Stellar OM Source yet. Stellar OM Source originated from Christelle Gualdi’s desire to unhinge from her academic musical upbringing. Gualdi completed her studies in electro-acoustic composition at the Conservatoire de Paris after earning an architecture degree. The process of Gualdi’s “unlearning” began in experimental ensemble settings, and it became more recognizable as she moved toward solo performance. Stellar OM Source’s name is fittingly inspired in part by the pathway to higher consciousness and cosmos via one’s own voice. Based By virtue of her many aspirations and the array of hardware that Gualdi brought to the table, Joy One Mile took form in chaos. Where this disorder might cripple others, Gualdi’s response was energetically and emotionally charged. While recording, each corner of Joy One Mile became draped in dramatic ornamentation, the mood rarely varying from frantic to frenetic. From the vantage point of the finish line, Joy One Mile bares no straight club tracks, but it depends upon a percussive propulsion nevertheless. The singularity of Gualdi’s compositions, when pulled back and recalibrated even slightly, resemble early era Warp Records, and, by that admission, the wayward electro of early-90s Detroit. The abstractions in Gualdi’s programming and mutant melodies is what keeps Joy One Mile perfectly relegated to outsider status, akin to the primitive techno of Esplendor Geometrico and Chris & Cosey.
“Sometimes you feel that you’re getting really close to what being alive means, be it learning about distant planets or being grounded by life’s occasionally heavy burden,” notes Gualdi. “Joy One Mile grew from the consciousness of such moments. When I listen to it, I see myself walking through a pouring rain at night with headphones on, embracing both the misery and ecstasy.”