Performance artist and musician Sadaf H Nava’s releases “History of Heat,” July 12th.

Animal, animal, animal, animal, refrained against the sunset; primal waves, radiation, burning through vaporwave skies and liquid crystal revelries.

Sadaf performs at Sister City with saxophonist Tamio Shiraish and cellist Younggun

I don’t know much about Sadaf, but I once heard her say that art shouldn’t have to be explained. Maybe I didn’t hear that, but the sentiment spoke for itself in the inseparability of her work from its sonic substrate. If it seems at first inaccessible, it comes from that brazen insistence on telling stories on their own terms: you have to open yourself up to an idiosyncratic language that eludes any attempt at reduction.

The vibrations can be heard but I can’t listen to them: I can only read them, make contact with them the way one’s hands touch the physical pages of a book. During the performance at Sister City and album alike, tracks become layered with machinic pulses, droning chimes, cacophonous repetitions and dial tones frantically attempting to synchronize with this or that convulsion. The atonal sound of a violin twists and turns in unanticipated directions, filling space with intangible curves as a voice violently fissures a landscape that never finds equilibrium.

All of these visceral components coalesce into an atmosphere that articulates itself not as song but as matter; a surface creased and torn into its own cosmology, an unadulterated geology of becomings.

Heat, since the infinitesimal thermodynamic demons of the 19th century and the relentless thermal monsoons of megalithic server farms, has been our historiography. What then is a history of heat but an animal that breaks free from those earlier abstractions, inexorably expressing its own newfound instincts?