Caterina Barbieri is launching her own label, light-years, and its first release is a collaborative track with Lyra Pramuk, titled ‘Knot Of Spirit’. Out now, the 10-minute track sees Barbieri pair her distinctive arpeggiated synths with Pramuk’s vocals.

Offering more detail on her new label, Barbieri says: “After a period of unprecedented isolation, I am personally really inspired by the idea of exploring a more collaborative and independent format, where diversity, inclusivity, co-creation and mutual support are primary values to define a more sustainable landscape for its artists and creators.”

With a title evoking a metaphysical state of unresolved tension and enigma, “Knot of Spirit” blends synth and vocals into a sonic vertigo which oscillates alluringly between the mystical and the hallucinatory. Barbieri’s whirling, haunting synth patterns interweave with Pramuk’s other-worldly vocals into mirages of transcendence: time accelerates and decelerates in a trancelike spiral that erases any distinction between the inner and the outer worlds.

Barbieri pairs the single with a surreal oil painting by Russian artist Dasha Kuznetsova. The artwork seems to emanate from that same subconscious underworld of spontaneous and unmediated emotionality which Barbieri can uniquely conjure at the heights of her musical powers. This is a work of catharsis, a dark descent into the ineffable with an explosive, poignant and uncontrolled finale, “Knot of Spirit” is an erratic journey of impassioned endurance with the handbrakes off.

In addition to the inaugural release, the imprint has live showcases booked across Europe this year, including Nextones Festival in Italy (31st July) and Draaimolen in the Netherlands in September. Artists such as Bendik Giske, Nkisi, Kali Malone, and Marcel Weber aka MFO — known for work with Roly Porter and Ben Frost — are all confirmed to appear.  

“I strongly believe in the power of sound as an agent of change and the idea behind this project is to make deep listening effortless and explore the transformative, mind-altering potential of music, as well as its socially empowering effects,” Barbieri said of the concept behind the label.

The new label is intended to be a multidisciplinary platform, which will span music releases as well as visual media, art and fashion, while Barbieri plans to consider the environmental impact of releasing physical objects, by using recycled or consciously resourced materials wherever possible.

The label will also be expanded into a live setting this year, with Barbieri hoping to create a “continuous enveloping environment” for performance, which will involve collaborations with associated artists. Among those artists are Bendik Giske, Nkisi, Kali Malone and Pramuk. The first of these shows will take place on July 30 at Italy’s Nextones Festival, and a further one is scheduled for September at Draaimolen in Tilburg.

‘Knot Of Spirit’ is out now on light-years.