Cornelia Live at Boiler Room Guildford

Cornelia Live at Boiler Room Guildford
Image © Neil Mach 2012

On Monday 15th Oct we were lucky enough to see the Swedish singer / songwriter and electronic pop temptress, Cornelia Dahlgren at the fabulous Boiler Room venue, in Guildford, Surrey. Cornelia participated in the first season of Swedish Idol 2004, but dropped out of the show in the final stages because she did not consider the manufactured approach to the music to be what she was all about. She instead chose to start her own label ‘Camp Mozart’, and debuted with an EP release entitled. ‘Capsule’ .

Recent widely acclaimed collaborations with artists such as Portico Quartet  and Scratcha DVA have brought her to the forefront of the music scene in the UK.  We saw this strange musician supporting the amazing and sumptuous sounds of the Submotion Orchestra – the 7-piece project from Leeds.

Entering into the world envisioned by Cornelia is like being trapped inside a snow dome, with a swarm of moths. It is not a particularly pleasant experience, but it is not truly distressing either. Uncomfortable enough to give you nightmares, but you could endure the sensation for an eternity. The relentless wing-beatings are somehow comforting. Pellets of sound strike you … creating uneasy memories that will never go away.

Her voice is Kate Bush, Katie Melua and Lene Lovich – all rolled into one.  And then smothered in popping candy. If you listen to this at the same time as drinking cola, it will cause your stomach to explode. And that is a fact.

Shadows of sounds come and go, tempting the listener briefly before wisping to heaven. Into this simulated reality of synthetic sounds and mixed, disjointed bass notes,  comes the voice of Cornelia, at once disturbing, tragic … renegade.  It has a fleeting, spectral quality that does not materialize properly. It will always border on the ethereal world.

Take her song “Stormy Weather” – the bumpy, potted traffic-jam of noises encrust the baby-voiced bleats of the singer. The song touches you in places you wish were not touched. It feathers you, and slides down your backbone… stroking and teasing its way into your nervous system. It is creamy and delicious.

Or listen to the older song  “Aquarius Dreams“, which rises and falls like a sinus beat. A grumble of lightly percussive sounds creates a rustle, while the gloopy electronic soups bubble and broth. But rising from this boiling mix is the steamy voice of Cornelia. It shimmers and glides across the surface.

Cornelia is a dangerous kalidah and she cannot be trusted.  If you feel safe within her glittering folds, beware. She will attack you, and she will stab you. With prongs of power. You had better give her the attention she demands.  You will hear much more from Cornelia in the future.

– © Neil_Mach October 2012


One Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.