Diamanda Galas was always one of my favorite artists in college. I still like her today, but I have not much cared for the work she has produced in the last ten years or so.

A friend in college let me borrow his Galas record (yes, a real flat record that played on a record player) Panoptikon. I was immediately entranced. It was like nothing I had ever heard before; powerful, dark, and other-worldly.

Soon thereafter she had come out with her Masque of the Red Death Trilogy, which was equally evocative and powerful (and was about HIV/AIDS). Her albums, The Singer and The Sporting Life are also among my favorites.

Diamanda is best known for her 3.5 octave vocal range, and her innovative, angry, and uninhibited vocal performances. In recent years though, her style has become too inaccessible even for me. It seems to me that she concentrates too much on style, and not enough on substance. It is like eating a cake with too much icing, and not enough cake.

If you are into alternative music you may already know her. If you are not, or if you are too young and she has slipped under your radar, I suggest you take some time to check her out.

Here is her site, and I’m uploading some of her music below.

Tags: AIDS, Diamanda Galas, HIV, alternative music, music, songs

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If you're interested in alternative/experimental music and female singers like Galás, you should listen to Iva Bittová, who is just as stunning, albeit in a very different way.

You can listen to some of her music online here.

Attached is an excerpt of a radio broadcast that features live songs by Iva Bittová.
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Thanks Jaume!

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