TUi MAMAKi (formally of The Mamaku Project) disappeared to Bulgaria in 2014... where is Bulgaria!? It is in her childhood record collection, in her impossible dreams, as far east in Europe as you can go, and now, deeply woven into her voice & soul, as TUi trained for the last 3 years (or forever) in the techniques and repertoire of that obscurely-famous Bulgarian folklore. (This is especially apparent in her acapella trio formation Acapollinations, which also features Chelsea Prastiti and Siobhan Grace.) But THIS project, FLY, is a distill. MAMAKi wanted to hear from a new silence - what music would come through these fingers, tongue and mind, if she listened, post "Bulgaria"? What aspects of the fascinating music she had studied there had been digested, and how would these come through, naturally, into composition?
Holed up in a soviet style block, in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, through the heat of 2016 summer, armed with a Little Martin acoustic guitar and an addiction to picking newfound rhythms, taking walks to unwind through the Linden scented cobblestone streets of the oldest continually-inhabited city of Europe, at night – TUi came up with a collection of songs, 11 of which were recorded in France that autumn, 5 of which were selected for this album. The final track, a traditional song from the Rodopi mountains in Bulgaria, displays her indebtedness.
Through this kind of exile/immersion - suitably assisted by the breaking up of her previous band and partnership – TUi MAMAKi has uncovered a new sound for herself - a super intimate kind of Neo-Folk, underpinned by hypnotic odd-meter Bulgarian rhythms, and clothed in delicate and dreamy, eastern-tainted melodies. The English language lyrics soften the distance and make for a strangely familiar exoticism.