Stefana Fratila
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Stefana Fratila

Vancouver, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2008 | SELF

Vancouver, Canada | SELF
Established on Jan, 2008
Solo Electronic Experimental

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


Romanian-born, Vancouver-based electronic producer Stefana Fratila evokes an intense sense of longing on the echoey “Heartland” from her forthcoming album, Efemera. From the opening lyric, Heartland getting passed around like chronic, Fratila shares her personal struggles with “continual headaches and pains and thinking a lot about the impermanence of the feeling of missing," she told The FADER.

“I intended "Heartland" to be listened to on a road-trip or a train ride," she continued. "It's a song to listen to while in motion, brimming with an intoxicating nostalgia of missing home, or the 'Heartland', which for me has always been split between two places, Canada and Romania.” - The FADER


Fratila makes the type of music people should be afraid of. On closer inspection it’s thundering, empowering, and angry, yet comes across sickly sweet and ethereal... - Noisey


Stefana Fratila has transformed from an an exquisitely varied singer-songwriter/full-time-teenager who gave out handmade CD-Rs at shows to a biologically superior lifeform who retained the voice of a woman but breathes via photosynthesis, hyperfluctuating matter between wave-like and wave-envious states to perform the functions of 20th-century musical instruments (you know, the ones still subject to entropy). Fratila’s earlier work was endearing in its prose-like lyrical content, and it employed some of the facets of the short-lived (anyone still have Animal Collective on their iPod Mini?!) “freak folk” genre well: twinkling guitars over mutant sampling and squelchy, whirly sounds, like trying to catch bits of audio from a cartoon in one of those money tornado jobs....Contrast last year’s Trista cu Frica with “Nero” and “Tugging” off Fratila’s newest tape, Efemera. The vaporous vocals pour over sketches of post-internet architecture, triggering the growth of bio-organic tissue where strings need to be tugged and drums need to be thumped. There are quieter moments — “Edmonbomb” borders on a ballad — and the album’s interludes provide self-deconstructing walls of percussion just in case you get comfortable. Interesting tidbit: according to Fratila, the songs on Efemera were tracked reel-to-reel years ago and recently remixed. The only logical explanation for this is Fratila truly is a time-traveling, shape-shifting lotus-eating cyborg existing both today, when Efemera drops on Trippy Tapes, and in some indeterminate time splice where Fratila’s psychic troubadour past combats her digital future. - Tiny Mix Tapes


Strange to feel young,” admits electronic artist and producer Stefana Fratila on her latest record, Efermera. The Vancouver-based artist pairs shimmering synth sounds and heavy beats with her experimental sensibility on these ten tracks. A political science student who used the technique of time-stretching for a final project on colonialism in Canada, she seems interested in the way sounds and words can be reinterpreted by repeating them or slowing them down. “Tugging” is a standout track and a prime example of Fratila’s interest in turning around phrases. It’s a song about feeling young and out of place and yearning “to be swept into adult sleep.” She hauntingly recites, “recovering slowly here, recovery slowly being here… recovery slow, being here, slow.” Her words dissociate themselves from their original meanings and serve a unified purpose of lulling the listener into an enlightened trance. - Impose


We’re excited to premiere the new video for Vancouver experimental musician Stefana Fratila, from her album Efemera. Directed by Sara Wylie and shot by Evan Mason... - The Editorial Magazine


Efemera’s songs evince an interest in nostalgia and a reexamination of the past. But the Efemera project — as it spans across music, video, and venue — is also itself an interface between Fratila’s current work and the recordings of her nascent electronic period. Musically, the album is a chimera of dance and off-kilter electronic concepts, with instrumental touches derived from the lush pop music comprising Fratila’s earliest material… Closing the album, “Efemer(a)” follows a house beat from warm ambience to digital stutters. And as a conclusion, it’s more suggestive than typical dance tracks: maybe a gesture for contemplation, maybe an offer of rest. With the layers Fratila has put into her album — into its morphing soundscapes — Efemera doesn’t offer simple answers. But it does seem to ask the right questions. - Discorder Magazine


According to herself mainly considered a performance-based artist (check out her incredible and important live piece "no history" over here and make sure to read the accompanying explanation), Romanian-born and Vancouver-based musician Stefana Fratila released her latest recording Efemera right in time for summer solstice yesterday. The ten-track work explores intersecting narratives of noise, electronica, and psychedelic pop, all interwoven within and across the individual tracks. Some parts are dominated by straightforward 4/4 beat patterns, while others meander along seemingly unstructured washes of sonic interference. "Tugging", which you can stream below, lies somewhere in between: built around an intricate rhythm that slowly dissolves into a house-informed beat, the song is mainly carried by Fratila's layered, deliberately salient vocals. Originally recorded years ago and then revisited earlier this year, it would be interesting to reconstruct the individual steps of the song's evolution. - No Fear of Pop


The title of Stefana Fratila‘s new album is fitting, since each style is only there for a short time before transitioning into something else. There’s delicate and sweet moments, unnerving atmospheric sounds and deep, steady beats. The end result is a mixed collage of sounds that demonstrate just how good of a producer this Romanian-born, Vancouver-based artist is. (If you’re a fan of Ramzi or early Grimes, you’ll definitely be into this album.)

She’s a strong vocalist, too, breathily singing about things like nostalgia and slow emotional healing. But even when the material gets dark, the music stays light and airy, giving you a choice as a listener. Either put it on in the background as the perfect summer afternoon soundtrack, or get thoughtful while listening carefully to the lyrics through your headphones. - Silent Shout


Nostalgia’s a powerful thing, and Vancouver soundscaper Stefana Fratila is exploring the emotional ties to the past with Memory, an audio-visual collaboration with filmmaker Milena Salazar. Sequenced together as a nine-minute short film, Fratila’s four-song cycle is fitted with vintage home video footage of a child’s fifth birthday party in Cosa Rica. Set against the synth-driven, hypnagogic dream pop of "1983” are VHS snow-strewn shots of family’s swimming. The haunting, echoed cries and ambient drones of “Compass” contrast blindfolded party games and the wanton disregard of safety rules as a cluster of kids undertake a one-legged race on the periphery of the pool. - Exclaim!


It’s summer, and the ghost from your childhood home has gotten out again. Efemera steals through your curtains with the crushing sunlight, pollinating gauzy fields inside your clammy afternoon dreams. Elegiac reverberations ooze from the trees. Old sorrows ablate with the rain. You can’t remember putting the record on, but it’s playing anyway. - Weird Canada


Stefana Fratila is a sonic painter. Like a painting, her experimental electronic music jumps from place to place, switches tempo and mood on a whim, and brings together disparate elements on the same canvas... - Scout Magazine


Romanian-born, Vancouver-bred Stefana Fratila is only 23 years old and probably more accomplished than you…she has just released one of the most compelling local records of the year. - Georgia Straight


I quickly learned that behind the bold look was a young woman with a wisdom that went well beyond her 22 years…Fratila teamed up with female-fronted record label, Genero, to release, “Tristă cu Frică“, (“saddened with fear” in Romanian) in July, and sees no signs of slowing down anytime soon... - Coven Berlin


Romanian-born, Canadian-based artist/musician Stefana Fratila just released her latest album, Tristă cu Frică ("Saddened with Fear") on Genero, an independent, female-led Vancouver collective and label. The surreal, unnerving video for "Evil" was directed by Genero's founder, Soledad Munoz, and showcases Fratila's versatile vocals over an indie rock guitar line. As an artist, Fratila deals with collapsing the gender binary and challenging silence around sexual violence. - bitch media


Producer and artist, Stefana Fratila, greeted me at the top of the Calgary Tower with a smile as bright as her heart-shaped glasses. After we got through the customary introductions and chit-chat, I quickly learned that behind the bold look was a young woman with a wisdom that went well beyond her 22 years... - Marker Magazine


Tristă cu Frică is an album that invokes lush waves of strings, beats, and a voice that’s playful yet all together confident and strong… you’d be hard-pressed to not get some toe tapping joy out of this collection. - ION Magazine


A Romanian immigrant and university student, Stefana Fratila spends a great deal of her time studying, working, and traveling. After stationing herself in Vancouver, she expresses her creative margin through her electronic, experimental project. Here she communicates her thoughts on oppression, violence, the internet’s role in her musical journey, and living as a musician in Vancouver through her lyrics and sound vision.... - Creep Magazine


Discography

2015: Efemera
100 limited-edition cassettes / digital | via Trippy Tapes/Summer Cool Music

A1. Intro
A2. Pixel Plant/Hound Dawg 
A3. Heartland
A4. Interlude I
A5. Nero
A6. Tugging
B1. Ghostjail
B2. Interlude II
B3. Edmonbomb
B4. Efemer(a)


2014: Tristă cu Frică (ep)
100 limited-edition cassettes / digital | via Genero Sound

A1. Red
A2. So Much Goes
A3. Evil
B1. Discourse
B2. Foghorn
B3. Blim

2014: Memory (ep)
digital | self-released

01. 1983
02. Compass
03. All Wind
04. Sexual Healing

Photos

Bio

I am a Romanian-born/Canadian producer and electronic artist. I just finished my Master's in Political Science at UBC and I've been performing and touring underground, self-managing, self-booking, etc. for the last few years. My releases and live performances cross a variety of genres, including ambient, experimental, electronic, house, and pop.

In 2014, I released a visual ep, Memory, and my first cassette, Tristă cu Frică, via Genero Sound, a feminist audio collective/label. 

In 2015, I released my first full-length, Efemera, via Vancouver imprint Trippy Tapes with distribution by Montreal-based Summer Cool​ Music.​

Since 2014, I have been creating/performing sound pieces as well as composing scores for dance and theatre productions. I wrote "december 6th 1989" in memory of the women killed 25 years ago at École Polytechnique and "no history" for my Master's thesis, as a gesture of bearing witness to ongoing colonial violence and enacting settler-shame.