Atka, the London and Berlin-based musician, songwriter, and producer has announced her debut EP The Eye Against the Ashen Sky, due out November 3, 2023. Along with the EP announcement, Atka has released the video for “Desiring Machines,” the first single from the EP which Atka directed and edited herself. They wrote “Penned while working on her master thesis last summer, the track plays out like a gently building Florence + the Machine ballad crafted by the heartland-rock and post-punk proclivities of Gang of Youths”
“Desiring Machines” is a clear reference to the philosophers Deleuze and Guattari’s books Anti Oedipus and A Thousand Plateaus and explores how one’s own body is experienced as an object under the (male) gaze. Here Deleuze and Guattari’s idea of the rhizome is explored musically with a soundscape that grows and grows like the root-system that the two philosophers describe. A rhizome does not start from anywhere or end anywhere; it grows from everywhere and is the same at any point. As such, a rhizome has no center, which makes it difficult to uproot or destroy.
Atka, whose real name is Sarah Neumann, wrote The Eye Against The Ashen Sky last year in London while completing her master’s degree in philosophy, in which she intensively studied French philosopher Jean Paul Sartre’s theory of the gaze. On the EP, Neumann processes the academic debate through storytelling in a close, tangible manner. Here, intellectual interests and personal experiences blur into an autobiographical work about shame and paranoia. Track after track, The Eye Against The Ashen Sky meanders deeper and deeper through various manifestations of these emotional worlds to their origin in the overwhelming gaze of the Other.
Photo Courtesy: Anh Le