"In Between" Album & Concerts Reviews
Sascha Ley's sources of inspiration are majestic. She literally feeds the audience with her deep songs, her voice carries, carries away. Her melodies are ethereal and ghostly, her singing is haunting. Michel Schroeder, Zeitung vum Lëtzebuerger Vollek 01/23 LU
Singing "Lush Life" stripped to the bone like this is something you first have to dare to do. Sascha Ley, singer and performance artist from Luxembourg, dares and wins all along the line. Behind her, chunks of sound fall from the synthesizer, while her voice asserts itself in every line, each of Ley's words is intelligible. Later Ley will set to music - "Love In Outer Space" by Sun Ra, - besides the Strayhorn it is the only foreign material - far from the unpredictability of the Archestra, but still endowed with its mental states. In between, Ley tries things out, communicating nonverbally, layering different soundtracks of her voice. It occasionally reminds of the Vocal Summit band of the seventies, which, except for Bobby McFerrin, consisted of all women, but at times also of the exploratory urge of a Laurie Anderson, although Ley has no amplified violin at hand, but "only" micro synth & gadgets. On five of the seventeen numbers, which may be only two minutes long, Ley asks Jean Pascal Boffo to join her for the live sound processing. She creates a world with its own parameters, based primarily on reduction and pure accuracy of expression. "In Between" : One indeed lands in an in-between realm. It is an exciting place.
Hard to believe what this woman can do with her voice: This is the first impression when listening to the album "In Between" (JazzHausMusik), the solo debut of the internationally sought-after German-Luxembourg artist Sascha Ley. "In Between" ("Dazwischen") seems to be the life motto of the Saarbrücken-born artist: As a singer, pianist, actress, poet, composer and performer, Ley moves between all categories, and stylistically her vocal art can hardly be labeled either - she permanently crosses the borders between jazz, contemporary classical music, free improvisation, stylized folklore, sound experiments, rap or electronic tinkering. When Ley coos, whispers, recites in several languages; when we imagine ourselves in a radio play situation in the face of her technically multiplied voice, or when Ley imitates the archaic tongue-beat with a strong sound, it never remains superficial vocal acrobatics. Rather, her "songs", stories and sound collages are like chapters of an emotional diary - parts of a dramaturgical synthesis of the arts, which Jean P. Boffo seems to finally beam into cosmic-spacious expanses by means of "sound-processing". Stephan Uhrmacher, SZ (DE) 12/22 (DE)
Her first solo reveals a unique multi-layered lyrical world interspersed with experimental songs.
Hiroki Sugita, Portrait in Jazz (JP) 12/22
A truly impressive voice. A remarkable CD.
Michael van Gee, Radio Dreyeckland (DE) 12/22
A singular artist. "In Between" is a whole work, a choreography, almost a conductor's score, of an incredible intensity, with different and very rich atmospheres. Her art is impressive. A singer who bewitches you. A voice that fills the space. One is well there.
Alain Duret, Danielle et Gérard Dugelay, Radio RCF (FR) 11/22
I've been fascinated by the singer's universe for a long time. Sascha Ley is not afraid to draw us into our own subconscious. The vibrations that resonate and clash get under your skin and into your cortex. The singer has a sense of nuance and narration. She masters her effects. The sensual song of a mermaid mixes with that of an opera singer or a frightened child. Sascha unsettles and amazes us. The whole concert (like the record) is a journey, an experience and a reflection on life, society, the place of women, and memories. It's class. It is very personal and quite unique. It's a concert (a performance) to be experienced. Jacques Prouvost Jazzques (BE) 11/22
Sascha Ley’s new album In Between was released on 12 October and has already garnered critical acclaim. The jazz vocalist has expanded her sonic landscape by using loop stations, synths and a variety of instrumentation to explore a world of abstract vocals, narrative songs and onomatopoeia. The album veers between the experimental and the accessible, the dreamlike and the nostalgic as Sascha deals with loss and love and desire and intellect.
Duncan Roberts, Delano (LU) 11/22
Dazzlingly, the singer, musician and actress Sascha Ley musically opened the well-attended evening [...] impressed with her singing and vocal artistry. Of course, Ley can also sing classical jazz, which shows through when she switches from synthesizer to piano.
There is dangerous cooing, heavy panting, energetic shouting of "Eo!" like a shepherdess across the vast steppe, and this is then layered on top of each other by means of a loop station to form complex structures that are always unique and never become a mannerism. Effortlessly Ley masters the throat singing technique of the Inuit, sometimes reminding of the African world music of "Zap Mama" and in her free spirit of the great old Meredith Monk. But her titles never seem epigonal, she always transforms the material into something of her own.
Silvia Buss, Saarbrücker Zeitung (DE) 10/22
Journey into the in-between. The triple threat artist, whose achievements would be enough to fill two pages of this newspaper, presents her new solo album In Between at the Neimënster. The 17-song experimental album is tailor-made for the stage. Sascha Ley plays her voice like a violin whose playing hands she mimes. She cradles her invisible instrument. We speak of memory and oblivion, [...] of that particular space to which Sascha Ley always returns [...] an indeterminate space. With In Between, Sascha Ley makes easily accessible what is not easily accessible. Mixing frankly crazy bravura pieces and warmer songs (all proportion kept), In Between definitely hits the bull's eye.
Kévin Kroczek, D’Land (LU) 10/22
Piano, synth sounds, voice, noises and effects - these are the ingredients that vocalist, actress and performer Sascha Ley uses to create 17 experimental tracks on her first solo album. She explores what can be done with the voice - and that's a lot! She improvises, shouts, trills, growls, pants and sings, holds a dialogue with herself, explores different resonances. There are spacey soundscapes and vocal acrobatics ("Playground," "Circe Sings") that get by without words, somewhere between Zap Mama, Björk, Pygmy and Joik chants. But she's also a great storyteller, reciting her thoughts and feelings as if from a personal notebook, dealing with presentness and nostalgia, dreams and desires, open spaces and finitude, intuition and change.
Mane Stelzer, Melodiva (DE) 10/22
The various elements of this music come to life as they emerge and interact with each other. After a while it is impossible to distinguish what was originally a draft, a sketch, and what was a detail that only emerged in the course of editing. With her musical concept, Sascha Ley seems to me to be a personality who stands somewhat apart from the so-called jazz scene and is very interesting not only for that reason.
Jazz-Fun Magazine (DE) 10/22
Sascha Ley continues to explore her sonic territory. Her new album, "In Between", is an astonishing collage of voices, improvisations and little stories. Discovery.
This time supported by a piano, a micro-synthesizer and other devices that seem like everyday objects, the singer is radical and singular, juggling with words, language and vocalisms. Even better, as if to remind us of her enthusiasm for improvisation and avant-garde music, she combines, in 17 crazy but catchy songs, sound loops, vocoder, noises and whistles. Her way of affirming that she doesn't fit into any category.
Grégory Cimatti, Le Quotidien (LU) 10/2022
The singer, performer, poet SASCHA LEY shows her skills kaleidoscopically in 17 parts, five of them with live sound processing by Jean Pascal Boffo. […] Curious sound structures, which she creates with Satie or Cage piano, micro synth & gimmicks, with multi-tracked interlocked rap, beatboxing, vocoder-singing à la 'O Superman', whimsical vocalizing, loud-necked folkloric mannerisms, whispers, tongue-twisters and little stories in the tone of Hirsch. But with undeniably its own charm and wit, as she juggles there with prose, poetry, glossolalia and droning waves and also whistling, conjuring up a very peculiar mono-musical.
Badalchemy (DE) 09/22
"Papercut" Mierscher Kulturhaus
I would describe myself as a kind of story teller who uses different and altered forms of expression and who likes to read between the lines and to play with perception as well – with both my own and that of the audience – to find open spaces of thought processes, feelings, opinions and habits and possibly turn them upside down in order to experience new considerations. I always try to find a universality that appeals to both the intellect and the senses in order to transmit this. As a passionate observer of the human genius and drama, of creation, art, nature and the world, my creations as well as my life have become a permanent research.
The entire interview
Faber and her cast of Sascha Ley and Andrea Hall create a spellbinding drama that asks universal questions about courage, commitment, ethics, loyalty, patriarchy and the whole rotten system. Delano digital 25.1.22 || read all
When Sascha Ley screams "I was burning inside!", one can more than empathize with the whistleblower's anger, disappointment, inner turmoil and disillusionment. The effervescent dialogues between the two female figures, which later turn out to be two versions of one and the same personality, become an immersive, intense experience. An excellent performance by both actresses. Tageblatt 01/22
(MI FRIDA) Always changing, always new, always surprising. Who is the dancer, who is the singer, who is the actress? The boundaries are blurred. (...) Sometimes there is also a tinge of absurdity. (...) At the end the songs are sad, the fight becomes a dance of death. And yet we see no victim, but both a strong and desperate woman. Even in these terms, the performance is incontestable. Strong. Trierischer Volksfreund (D)
No doubt, Sascha Ley is a genuine multi-talent; after all, she is not just a songwriter, composer and interpreter but works as an actress and a director as well… What remains unchanged, however, is the seductive mood, the poetry of it all, which has become Sascha’s trademark. Le Quotidien (L)
A brilliant actress. Sonntagsnachrichten (D)
The powerful Sascha Ley. Deutschlandfunk (D)
Divine … simply captivating, enchanting, marvelously vulgar and full of magic charisma. Süddeutsche Zeitung (D)
Sascha Ley. … does raise the vocal bar some artists have been limboing under for years. (…) a new way of looking at vocal jazz. Critical Jazz (USA)
Sascha Ley moves between improvisation, as well as regular singing, chanting or pure sound accompanying intonations, being an artist of a rare profile. She works in the fields of music, theater, film and dance, and all on an exceptional level. JazzZeitung (D)
Sascha Ley is and will remain a thoroughbred artist. She has been admired as a fascinating interpreter of songs by Kurt Weill and Georg Kreisler, a femme fatale in [various projects], and is certainly indispensable from Luxembourg’s musical life as a jazz icon. D'Land (L)
Sascha Ley carries a whole universe of voices. Galaxies full of music. Jazz Podium (D)
Sascha Ley has created her own musical identity. Melodiva (D)