Mike Patton’s Ipecac Records is known for releasing some of the most original and quirkiest, avant-garde music on the planet. This September will be no different for the label, as acclaimed Inuk throat singer, Tanya Tagaq Gillis, releases her sophomore effort. Throat singing is the manipulation of the harmonic resonances as air passes over the vocal folds. The more ancient versions of throat singing come from Asia, but modern death metal bands (Job For a Cowboy, All Shall Perish, The Devil Wears Prada) that implement the “pig squeal” also fall into the throat singing category. Tanya Tagaq Gillis is part of the resurging Inuit tradition of throat singing in Canada.
Gillis has collaborated with an impressive list of artists, most of whom have approached her. She’s worked with Björk on 2004’s Medúlla, as well as the soundtrack for Drawing Restraint 9 (also by Björk). The world-renowned Kronos Quartet invited her to co-writer and perform on their Nunavut release. Gillis’ new release, Auk (Inuktitut translation is ‘blood’), features guest vocals by Canadian hip-hop artist Buck 65, human beat boxer, Shamik, and the always versatile Mike Patton. As an up-and-coming artist, Gillis hopes to collaborate much more in the future, “In my head, I have 500 records and I don’t want to do that alone! I want to embrace the other beautiful musicians to help me pursue my goal of making all the music I dream of making. When I do music with somebody, it is so intimate and beautiful to find people that think the same way that I do.”