Experimental beat maker Aïsha Devi heads to Detroit's MOCAD

Staff Pick


  • Emile Barret

Don’t turn to Aïsha Devi if you’re looking to dance the pain away. What the experimental Swiss, Nepalese-Tibetan binaural beat maker offers is more of a conjuring so that one is confronted with the very things they wish to escape — think of her 2018 record DNA Feelings as heady electronic ayahuasca.

Devi, who used to perform as Kate Wax, has found that a good old-fashioned rave is as healing and ritualistic as a temple-based mediation — and on DNA Feelings, with a careful marriage of restraint and catharsis, Devi summons both the ethereal and traditional worlds to collide. “If you name me, you negate me,” she haunts on “Time Is the Illusion of Solidity,” adding, “You will smile when you die. You will not name me. I am the prophet and you are me.”

At first listen, Devi’s work does little to make one feel less alone, as her experimentation could be interpreted as isolating. But upon further analysis, her work may be a remedy to aloneness, as it stirs awake an inner power that challenges the need for anyone but a strong and powerful you.

Doors open at 8 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 13, at MOCAD; 4454 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-832-6622; mocadetroit.org. Tickets are $20.

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