CELESTIAL SEA Deep Inside The Cold (God Is Myth) cd-r 8.98
Celestial Sea is the unlikely collaboration between God Is Myth head honcho Todd Paulson, who is also responsible for Dormant, reviewed elsewhere on the aQ site, and Andrew Curtis-Brignell, of UK black metal one man band Caina. Not unlikely because of the folks involved, it's not hard to draw lines connecting Caina Dormant and God Is Myth, but more for the sound they produce. An epic cinematic post rock more influenced by folks like Mogwai, Explosions In The Sky, Isis and Mono than any black metal or even metal in particular. Granted the crossover between metal and post rock is pretty common these days with folks on both sides of the sonic divide borrowing freely from the folks opposite. And we're never ones to complain, we love both sounds, pummeling metallic crunch, and loping mathy instrumental jams, and the two together, well, you know where we stand. So here we Have Celestial Sea, a (perhaps) one off, that finds the duo getting super spacey for the opening 5 minutes, simple minor key guitar figures unfurling over long drawn out drones, ratcheting up the tension, creating a brooding post rock ambience, that to be honest, we'd be happy to hear continue for the length of the whole record. Instead, the band launch into the first proper song, soaring crystalline chords, breathless vocals, simple drumming, all swept up in a shimmering swell, building to a crescendo that instead of introducing crushing downtuned riffage, offers up some super proggy organs, but only for a moment, a few seconds later, the guitars drop, and the band is soaring majestically, and heavily through some epic major key chords, the drumming wilder and more chaotic, before blissing back out soon after. Track three, "William Bentley's Grave" is another slow burner, with a definite prog vibe, lots of glistening shimmer, finally exploding in another epic climax, not crushing or heavy, just expansive and cathartic. The closer, "Deep Inside The Cold" is the darkest of the bunch, and the most overtly heavy, sounding a bit like Opeth or Katatonia but more mathy and introspective. The guitars thick, ringing out, long passages of droning looped riffage, and finally the record's big payoff, high end guitars spiraling heavenward, the drums double time, a serious final blowout. Definitely for fans of rock both post and math, and of course metalheads not averse to some sonic subtlety and lots of pretty pretty melody LIMITED TO 300 COPIES, housed in a plain white sleeve with a paste on cover and a printed insert.
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"As The Birds Fly South We Prepare Ourselves For The Impending Storm"
CENTURY PLANTS s/t (Tape Drift) lp 13.98
Super limited one sided live lp from these psychedelic headz. One sidelong blown out dub drenched psych rock heavy freakout, a dense layer of blurred buzz and sprawled static riffage oozes into thick billowing clouds, over which the drummer lays down a heavy groove, spare but seriously powerful, the instrumental backdrop isn't so much riff and rhythm as it is heavy swirls of sound, pulsing and driving. We weren't actually expecting vocals, but they bubble to the surface, heavily effected, doused in delay and reverb an echo, occasionally dubbed like crazy, the last word of a line spend spinning into the murk, it seems like an obvious homage to Japanese psychedelic heavies Les Rallizes Denudes, this jam has the same sort of loose feel, the vocals weirdly feral and abstract, all of the various sounds gradually seeming to blur into one heaving wall of churning psych, total drugged out zoner bliss, and as the track/side progresses, the band seem to gradually crank the sound, louder, faster, more frantic, everything cranked, even the vocals, wilder and more maniacal, all building to a frenzied final freakout. Super rad. Obviously fans of Burnt Hills, Carlton Melton, White Hills, The Heads, and all of those sort of psych combos will flip for this. Housed in an old school black and white bootleg style paste on sleeve, with a photocopied insert. And super limited, as in LIMITED TO 100 COPIES!!!
CENTURY PLANTS Sound System Sound (Tape Drift) cd-r 8.98
We've been playing catch up on cd-r's lately. We order a bunch, because they're so limited and we won't be able to order more later, but then we end up with way too much stuff to review so lots of those cd-r's end up sitting around for a while. Which is a bummer, but does mean a lucky few of you get a chance to nab some of these loooooong out of print cd-r gems well after the fact. Take this one, limited to only 50 copies! Of which we had 10 or 12, and now have about 8. This baby has been out of print for over a year! And it's too bad too, cuz this is a slow burning doozy. Languorous sun baked electric guitar, wrapped in wah and delay, a little distortion, the notes and chords allowed to drift and shimmer. Two epic half hours of slow motion psych drift, lazy and blown out, blissy and druggy, the opening track is a lysergic sprawl that eventually builds to full on chaotic cacophony, so in the red, it nearly fried the speakers here. The second track is just as speaker punishing but instead of whit noise skree, it's long billowy stretches of low end buzz, and distorted drone, peppered with brief sprawls of squealing feedback and glitched out amp damage. Killer stuff. Too bad we only have 8 copies. You have been warned.
CHADBOURNE, EUGENE Boogie With The Hook (Leo) cd 18.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. European import hand delivered by the charming Mr. Chadbourne hisself. Duets with Derek Bailey, Han Bennink, Charles Tyler, Volcmar Verkerk, and John Zorn.
CHADBOURNE, EUGENE & JIMMY CARL BLACK Pachuco Cadaver (Fireant) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Eugene brought these in himself last week. Here he teams up with the original Mothers of Invention drummer in a tribute to Captain Beefheart.
CHADBOURNE, EUGENE & JOHN ZORN In Memory of Rikki Arane (Incus) cd 17.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Circa-1980 recordings from this fun pair. On Derek Bailey's improv label.
CHAINSMOKER Stations ( BV2 Productions) cd 16.98
Another back in stock warehouse discovery. We don't really have a warehouse, but we do have plenty of nooks and crannies and boxes and spaces that things get stashed in and sometimes forgotten, but warehouse find slips off the tongue so much easier. Anyway, for you Finnish rock folks who may have missed out on this chunk of sonic strangeness, we found a little clutch of these, and figured there were probably at least a few people who missed out on these first time around: ATTENTION FINNISH ROCK OBSESSIVES!!! It's time for another strange missive from the Finnish combo known as Chainsmoker, a band created from the bits and pieces of Finnish legends Sweetheart. But where Sweetheart were a corrosive guitar based rock band, Chainsmoker are more of a dramatic, sort of gothic new wave band. If these guys were living in NY and going to all the right parties, getting remixed by DFA, partying with Fischerspooner, they'd be huge. Touring with the Scissor Sisters and screwing Lindsay Lohan and Ashley Simpson. But alas, they are marooned far away from the glitzy nightclubs and drugged out dancefloor kids who would be dancing and fucking and fighting the nights away to their spacey new wave techno groove rock. But there's more to it than that, these guys are Finnish after all, so it goes without saying that they have a bit of a twisted take. They incorporate morose vocals, saxophone, swirling outer space FX, Nick Cave like dramatic crooning, strummy acoustic guitars, cinematic synths, fuzz guitar, full on casiocore freakouts and pretty much anything else they can think of into their jet set, cocaine party, private jet, Studio 54, faux fur, dead of winter, NYC via Paris via Finland, Fischerspooner and Pet shop Boys in a back alley knife fight dance party!
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CHALK, ANDREW Blue Eyes Of The March (Faraway Press) cd 21.00
We often talk about the heaviest, the fastest, the loudest, and the most fucked-up musics, as we cram more and more letters into the word doom to express how much we love this record or that. Yet when it comes to the minimalist beatitudes crafted by the British drone engineer Andrew Chalk, our hyperbole fails us. With humility and a reclusive demeanor, Chalk's work stands as an elegant document of what you can do when striving for anything excessive. For years, Chalk has impressed upon us that few artists have been able to craft something as simple as a drone with such a pristine balance between impressionistic abstraction and phenomenological precision. Starting out the mid-80s recording toxic noises under the moniker Feral Confine, Chalk joined David Jackman in the seminal project Organum for a couple of melancholic recordings of acoustic minimalism. Shortly thereafter, he founded Ora with Darren Tate and Colin Potter; and more recently, Chalk and Christoph Heemann established Mirror. Nowadays, Chalk is venturing out on his own to remarkable success after a couple of beautiful recordings that he's self-released on Faraway Press. Blue Eyes Of The March is the third cd from Chalk's own label, and has been entirely crafted from piano. Given the dreamy soft-focus that Chalk has applied to the instrument, there's very little of the piano's instantly recognizable hammered attack that remains. It's as if he stretched all of the piano's strings across the bow of a Victorian cruise ship, deliberately sank it, and then recorded the sounds deep in the blackened sea off the northern coast of England. Haunted, subaquatic, and timeless, Chalk's swirling sounds spiral effortlessly into a ghostly antiquity whose references may be found in the equally elegant re-constructions of Bartok and Satie by Akira Rabelais on Eisoptrophobia, but done through analogue and not digital processes.
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"Blue Eyes of the March 2"
CHALK, ANDREW Crescent (Robot) cd 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Andrew Chalk's haunting drones (from his work with Organum and Jonathan Coleclough) have become favorites here at Aquarius. And this collection of his earliest recordings from the late '80s is no exception. The influence that Brian Eno's ambient work had upon Chalk becomes apparent with the emergence of a few fragile arrangements for piano and decidedly synthetic spacey keyboard sounds. But even at this stage in Chalk's development, his talent at constructing textural collages of bowed metal and hazy tonal reverberations is as solid here as on his recent recordings. This disc includes contributions from David Jackman (Organum) on one track and a remix from Christoph Heemann. Highly recommended.
CHALK, ANDREW East Of The Sun (Faraway Press) cd 21.00
BACK IN PRINT!!! Easily, one of the most important reissues of 2006 (available again now in 2009!), East Of The Sun available again though Andrew Chalk's own Faraway Press, complete with breathtakingly resplendent packaging. These recordings originally came out in 1994 as a cassette, released through Ora's in-house label, Ora being an early collective that revolved around Chalk, Colin Potter, and Darren Tate with occasional assistance from Jonathan Coleclough, mnortham, Lol Coxhill, and a handful of like-minded British drone enthusiasts. A few years later, the Italian label Hic Sunt Leones convinced Chalk to reissue the cassette in digital form. That CD version of East Of The Sun compressed the two sides of the cassette into a single 50 minute piece and was flushed out with some complementary dronescaping. Chalk was never happy with the Hic Sunt Leones version; and thus his reissue of the album returns to the original version found on the cassette, now gloriously remastered in its entirety. For those persnickety types, the 17 minutes or so which concluded the Hic Sunt Leones version is not here; but that is a minor loss compared to the pinnacle of drone-based minimalism found here. Sure, Eno's ambient records On Land and Thursday Afternoon were milestones in the realm of ambient music, setting an impressionist context through which any number of the images, thoughts, and ideals could be imagined; but that strategy was perfected by Andrew Chalk on a couple of records. There was his ephemeral album Sumac in collaboration with Jonathan Coleclough, there was the first Mirror album Eye Of The Storm, and there's East Of The Sun. Very dark without becoming unbearably cold, East Of The Sun is a constant bloom of nocturnal frequencies, whose origins may be thoroughly blurred bass guitar or possibly some resonant artifact from Chalk's acoustic work in Organum. Regardless, the resultant drones drift with no beginning and no end, merely rippling, reflecting, and turning upon themselves in a perpetual, very slow motion turbulence. Leaves tumbling in autumnal twilight. Fog spilling over coastal hills. Moonlight tickling the agitated surface of a pond. Any of these organic references for meditation on simplicity to reach the sublime and the profound could easily apply to Chalk's East Of The Sun. Not just recommended, this is required listening.
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CHALK, ANDREW Forty-Nine Views In Rhapsodies' Wave Serene (Faraway Press) cd 24.00
Another stunning album from British composer Andrew Chalk. While our man started out smashing acoustic noise through bowed cymbal skree and wild tape machinations in the mid '80s through his Broken Flag alias Ferial Confine, Chalk quickly settled down into the heavy gravity of the drone supreme. The albums that followed in the Ora / Mirror axis and his solo work conjured some of the finest drone mesmerism that we've ever heard. Oh, and we've heard a lot of dronemuzik! Chalk conjures sounds that are shimmering yet lucid, controlled yet open to all possible movements, occasionally dark yet always beautifully sublime. And now, after some 20 years of working with long-form composition, his love affair with the drone seems to be waning. In its place is a restrained impressionism for subtle melodies from a bleary piano, soft filigree of shadowy organs, and the occasional smeary echo of burbling cosmic-synth drift, as can be heard on the elegant fragmentation of albums like Violins By Night, Ghost Of Nakhodka, and The Cable House. Chalk continues that trend on Forty-Nine Views In Rhapsodies' Wave Serene in which he stitches 49 separate miniatures of delicate ambient passages into what could be seen as Andrew Chalk's take on Selected Ambient Works Volume II. Chalk's flickered melodies and soft focus ambience have the rich gold hues and nitrous oxide weightlessness found on Aphex Twin's classic, but Chalk's sounds express none of the midi-fired digitality or sequenced precision. Instead, Chalk's subtle gestures are clearly wrought by human hands, molded through arcane means, and slipping through his cottage industry in a moss-encrusted part of England. Satie and Eno also cozy up nicely to these Forty-Nine views. As with all of the albums that Chalk releases on his Faraway Press imprint, the packaging is equally as lovely as the music. Of course, it's recommended; it's Andrew Chalk!
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"Patience And Heartsease"
CHALK, ANDREW Ghost Of Nakhodka (Siren) cd 24.00
BACK IN PRINT, WITH DIFFERENT ARTWORK!!! Here's the cd reissue of a 2009 cassette from the emissary of British dronemusik, Andrew Chalk. That cassette, like this cd version, had been released by the Japanese imprint Siren Records, although it seems that Chalk himself did all of the printing as with all of his Faraway Press productions. So, it certainly looks as lovely as it sounds. The album opens with a 22 minute abstraction of piano tones, smeared, stretched, and warbled by a process that seems more attuned to tape decay techniques than the placid smooth surfaces that have come from Chalk's recordings as of late. This has the sound more of the misty psychedelic ambient tapestries from Natural Snow Buildings or the hauntological loops of Indignant Senility. There's something very prescient about this track, as if Chalk were responding to many of the divergent streams of drone-based constructions that are happening throughout the world right now. The rest of the album is definitely a detour for Chalk, as he presents a series of sad, sodden snippets composed on guitar, koto, synth, piano, and field recordings. Unlike so many who attempts an album of gossamer, minimalist sounds, Chalk seeks the same chromatic hues through his sources. It's the same melancholy which runs through his impressionist drones that can be found in an ellipsis for untreated acoustic guitar or a melody upon cosmic-minded synth or an atypical strum upon his koto. That makes for quite a remarkable album for Mr. Chalk, once again.
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CHALK, ANDREW Goldfall (Faraway Press) cd 21.00
Goldfall originally came out in late 2006 as a heavy duty slab of vinyl, swaddled in a delicate piece of tissue paper that also featured an elegant print reminiscent of Shoji screen prints. Chalk released a mere 300 copies through his Faraway Press imprint; and as with most of the tiny vinyl pressings that Chalk had done with his now defunct Mirror project with Christoph Heemann, it went out of print very quickly, with its scarcity only matched by the critical praise heaped upon it. Thankfully, Chalk has been far more willing to repress his hard to find material through Faraway Press; and Goldfall is the latest part of this reissue campaign. In contrast to the floral artwork which Chalk has replicated on the hand-screened / die-cut cardboard sleeves, Chalk's sound production within is a far darker and heavier experience. Sourced from the meandering piano interludes of Vikki Jackman, Goldfall is a dark, shadowy record of protracted reverberation and timbral rumblings. In comparison to Chalk's previous piano album Blue Eyes Of The March or to other exceptional piano abstractions (i.e. Jonathan Coleclough's Period or Brian Eno's Thursday Afternoon), Goldfall is downright ominous. Upon closer investigation into the sounds on Goldfall, the second track is a backwards remix of the first, turning the entire experience of listening to the album as a palindrome of shadows, with each darkly flecked piano tone on the second track harder to locate against the structure of the first given the droning miasma of Chalk's impeccable sound. Far from being like one of David Jackman's tiresome attempts at elongating his increasingly pointless ideas, Chalk's experiment was one to be discovered by the audience. We may have spoiled something magical about the record, or maybe not. It's still a magnificent, ominous piece of dronescaping; and you all should know that Andrew Chalk + ominous = highly recommended.
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CHALK, ANDREW Goldfall (Faraway Press) lp 40.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Goldfall is Andrew Chalk's highly anticipated new vinyl-only album, released on his own Faraway Press imprint. After pretty much of all the Mirror records had been released as super limited vinyl-only editions (with a couple of those getting reissued later on cd), Chalk's recent solo endeavors have been extended droneworks that weren't suited to the LP format. He's clearly outdone himself with the packaging on this return to vinyl, as he's situated the thick slab of vinyl within a dense cardstock sleeve with a die cut opening exposing silkscreened print beneath; and he's sealed the sleeve in a delicate piece of tissue paper that also features an elegant print reminiscent of Shoji screen prints. In contrast to the floral artwork, Chalk's sound production within is a far darker and heavier experience. Sourced from the meandering piano interludes of Vikki Jackman, Goldfall is a dark, shadowy record of protracted reverberation and timbral rumblings. In comparison to Chalk's previous piano album Blue Eyes Of The March or to other exceptional piano abstractions (i.e. Jonathan Coleclough's Period or Brian Eno's Thursday Afternoon), Goldfall is downright ominous. And you all should know that Andrew Chalk + ominous = highly recommended. But you should also know that Goldfall is limited to 300 copies.
CHALK, ANDREW Over The Edges (Streamline) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. This is the CD reissue of Andrew Chalk's "Over The Edges" which originally came out in 1999 as a vinyl-only release in a somewhat reasonable edition of 545 copies. Having composed "Over The Edges" in a single day at Colin Potter's ICR studio using only two strings of an acoustic guitar played with an E-Bow, Chalk brings a raspy, magentic buzz to his typically sublime, drone hypnosis. Here, subharmonics undulate beneath a chorus of static guitar-string vibrations, and shimmering waves of feedback elegantly flutter throughout. Not immediately as expressive as "Sumac" or some of the Mirror recordings done with Christoph Heemann, "Over The Edges" recalls the purist minimalism of long string composers like Alvin Lucier and Ellen Fullman.
"Over The Edges 1"
CHALK, ANDREW Shadows From The Album Skies (Faraway Press) cd 21.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. It remains to be seen if the duo of Andrew Chalk and Christoph Heeman will ever collaborate again, after rumors surfaced describing an acrimonious falling out in the wake of an ill-conceived Mimir / Mirror performance. Sure, Mirror has certainly produced some amazing recordings; Eye Of The Storm, in particular, is an impeccable document of droned-out environmental eerieness. But in all honesty and fairness to Christoph Heemann, Andrew's solo albums are where he really shines. Yet after all of his collaborations with Organum, Ora, Jonathan Coleclough, Giancarlo Toniutti, The New Blockaders, et cetera, his solo output is woefully thin, and almost entirely out of print. Fortunately, Chalk salvaged two recent cd-rs (Shadows From The Album Skies part one and two) from terminal obscurity as they had originally been released on the Mirror imprint Three Poplars in editions of less than 100. Both of the chapters of Shadows find Chalk channelling extended guitar mantras into a beautifully rich minimalism that could easily be confused with the work of Phill Niblock or Eliane Radigue. Both tracks here are constructed from slowly revolving patterns of delicate harmonics floating around an omnipresent timbral drone, with one being considerably darker thanks to an emphasis on low-end frequencies. For all of the times that we've referenced Mr. Chalk's work in describing somebody else's dronings, it's very nice to actually hear something from the master himself. Oh yeah, all of the copies have handmade sleeves and have been signed by Chalk himself. Very highly recommended.
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CHALK, ANDREW The Cable House (Faraway Press) cd 21.00
The arrival of a new Andrew Chalk album is always a cause for celebration, and now this record re-appears after a very small vinyl pressing last year. Mr. Chalk has long stood as one of our favorite drone composers over the years, beginning with his early contributions to the more placid Organum recordings, through his exemplary collaborative work in Mirror and Ora, and onto his near perfect catalogue of solo recording self-released through his Faraway Press. Through the more recent recordings Goldfall and Time Of Hayfield, the timbre of Chalk's work has brightened a bit, even as that brightening occurs between the spectrum of shadowy grey to sodden blue. Like Goldfall, The Cable House is an album sourced from piano; but where the notes on that earlier album loosely trailed amidst a gossamer web of bleary dronings, The Cable House has a considerably more purposeful set of melodic structures, pushing Chalk's work much closer into the realm of Satie's Furniture Music than ever before. Nonetheless, Chalk is masterful at extracting soft ringings of echo, restrained attack, and muted reverberations from his piano. It would be hard to imagine even someone like Eno or Basinski being able to craft something more elegant, more shimmering, more beautiful. Like the lp, the artwork features hand printed woodblock prints.
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CHALK, ANDREW The Cable House (Faraway Press) lp 30.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. The arrival of a new Andrew Chalk album is always a cause for celebration, doubly so when it's one of his scarce productions on vinyl. Mr. Chalk has long stood as one of our favorite drone composers over the years, beginning with his early contributions to the more placid Organum recordings, through his exemplary collaborative work in Mirror and Ora, and onto his near perfect catalogue of solo recording self-released through his Faraway Press. Through the more recent recordings Goldfall and Time Of Hayfield, the timbre of Chalk's work has brightened a bit, even as that brightening occurs between the spectrum of shadowy grey to sodden blue. Like Goldfall, The Cable House is an album sourced from piano; but where the notes on that earlier album loosely trailed amidst a gossamer web of bleary dronings, The Cable House has a considerably more purposeful set of melodic structures, pushing Chalk's work much closer into the realm of Satie's Furniture Music than ever before. Nonetheless, Chalk is masterful at extracting soft ringings of echo, restrained attack, and muted reverberations from his piano. It would be hard to imagine even someone like Eno or Basinski being able to craft something more elegant, more shimmering, more beautiful. The artwork features hand printed woodblock prints, rendering each piece just slightly different from one another. As a result of the laborious printing process, Chalk has only made 300 copies.
CHALK, ANDREW The River That Flows Into The Sand (Faraway Press) cd 21.00
Here's a nice find as we had thought this album to be totally out of print, but a small batch was uncovered in Andrew Chalk's studio and passed on to us! Recorded and released in 2005, The River That Flows Into The Sand was the second album that Chalk self-released for his Faraway Press imprint. Immediately before the release of this album, Chalk was working with Christoph Heemann in the very prolific project Mirror, which released 20 records during a 5 or 6 year period. Since then, Chalk retained the impressive workload found in Mirror. The River That Flows Into The Sand is the second album in as many months to emerge from Andrew Chalk's own Faraway Press. Like it's predecessor Shadows From The Album Skies, this album is a reissue of a cd-r originally released in a very small edition. However, Chalk has decided to truly develop Faraway Press into a viable cottage industry, encasing all of his work in elaborately hand-packaged constructions, that rival the original Zoviet France assemblages in terms of innovative design. How he managed to print these is a bit of a mystery, perhaps some form of decalcomania, in which an image is delicately transferred from one surface to another. Regardless, it doesn't hurt that Chalk again has produced an immaculate drone album housed within the beautiful packaging. For many years now, the guitar has been the instrument of choice for Chalk's minimalist explorations; and here on The River, he's tightroping between the ghostly impressionism of Keiji Haino's Nijiumu project from many moons ago, the narcoleptic atmospheres of Maeror Tri / Troum, the oceanic ambience of Boris' Flood, and the time-reversal qualities of Eliane Radigue. Undulations of extended sounds cascade from his guitar, occasionally rippling with beautiful half melodies. This is a a drop dead gorgeous album, and may even be better than the aforementioned Shadows From The Album Skies. We can't recommend this album enough!
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CHALK, ANDREW The River That Flows Into The Sands II (Faraway Press) cd 21.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. The sequel to the River That Flows Into The Sand was originally released through Andrew Chalk's Faraway Press imprint as a super-limited edition cassette in early 2006. We never managed to get a hold of those cassettes; and it goes without saying that they disappeared before we could even blink. Thankfully, Chalk has re-released all of that material on cd, remastered by the inimitable Colin Potter. As on the first part of The River, Chalk picks up the guitar for his minimalist explorations tightroping between the ghostly impressionism of Keiji Haino's Nijiumu project from many moons ago, the narcoleptic atmospheres of Maeror Tri / Troum, the oceanic ambience of Boris' Flood, and the time-reversal qualities of Eliane Radigue, all the while putting to shame every upstart drone artist with a cd burner and an Echoplex. Just as the first River cd meanders through five variations of the cascade sound, Chalk produces another five tracks of rippling drones on this disc. Similarly, he has packaged the disc in the dotted decalcomania which graced the first cd. The major differences can be found in the gritty, growling distortion which exists just beneath the surface of these glassine drones. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful!
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"The River II, track 5"
CHALK, ANDREW Time Of Hayfield (Faraway Press) cd 24.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Andrew Chalk has long been one of our favorite drone composers here at Aquarius Records (if not THE favorite!!!). Even though Mr.Chalk has been busy releasing cds in recent years, Goldfall (from early 2006) was actually the last new piece of work that this master of the drone had produced until this one, Time Of Hayfield. His work is slowly shifting toward a brightly cast sensibility, even as he continues to emply soft focus impressionism of his ringing overtones and dynamic vibrations. Again, as on Goldfall, Chalk employs the talents of Vikki Jackman on the piano as some of the source material here. The airy, ethereal ambience of Chalk's drones shimmer as if they were the reflections of the sun striking the windswept body of water of your choice. For us, it would obviously be the cold waters off the Northern California coast; but for Mr. Chalk living in the northeast of England, it's the North Sea. There's something bitingly cold about this album; but the slippery icy drones that evolve and tumble in their organic cycles enjoy a beauty so profound as to ameliorate anything threatening and hostile. A beautiful, airy, and meditative drone record. As with all of his self-released records on Faraway Press, the packaging is as immaculate as the sounds within; but there's a twist to the packaging. Chalk printed at least six different covers, each with a replication of a pastoral painting depicting some vintage slice of British country life. All are very nice, so there's no reason to fret!
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"A World Displaced"
CHALK, ANDREW Vega (Faraway Press) cd 21.00
BACK IN PRINT WITH NEW ARTWORK!! Sometime back in 2005, Andrew Chalk manufactured a tiny edition of what had been rumored to be the soundtrack to a self-produced film entitled Vega. When several journalists published their findings about the magnificent drones housed within that instantly out-of-print cd-r on Brainwashed.com and in The Wire, many of Chalk's die-hard fans were left disappointed at the existence of what might have been one of their favorite Andrew Chalk recordings had they ever had the opportunity to actually hear it. While Mr. Chalk maintains a very quiet demeanor and hardly ventures into the public eye these days, he's been hard at work ensuring that his recently formed Faraway Press actually keeps up with the orders for the records that he's been recording. Vega is one such record that he so dearly wanted to re-release sooner, had it not been for the inevitability of delays. It's clear to see why delays would have been incurred on the packaging for Vega, as the original cd-r was housed in a filigree of black lace surrounding a paper sleeve, which amounted to a delicate and frustratingly time-consuming process in terms of putting together each cd-r. As for the music within, Vega is simply stunning. Far more vaporous and free-floating than the previous solo outing The River That Flows Into The Sand and certainly more so than any of the Mirror recordings, Vega acts as an aural narcotic, sedating the listener through a constantly shifting, slow motion churn of chiming guitar drones, almost resembling the kosmische-tinged melancholia heard in the Aeolian String Ensemble's dronescaping. As bleary and amorphous as Chalk's drone-clusters are, he's always had the knack for keeping them just dissonant enough so that they do not fall into the ambient trap of background music. Sublime as ever. Recommended just like all of his other work.
"Vega 1" MPEG Stream:
CHALK, ANDREW Violin By Night (Faraway Press) lp 45.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Yeah. It's $45.00. But when you see the stunning packaging, you'll understand why. There's the outersleeve hand-wrapped in bookbinders cloth with a hand-printed reproduction of a Bosch-like etching of wolverines or badgers engaged in cocktail party conversation, and printed text all in Japanese. At the opening of the outer sleeve, you will notice a thick wooden dowel mounted to a thick piece of paper. This assembly houses the innersleeve which in turn houses the very thick vinyl. It's quite a feat of engineering that Mr. Chalk manufactured all of this in his cottage in the north of England. It should also not be a surprise that this album is ridiculously limited, and the production of which has been hampered by the amount of time each object takes to fabricate. So know now that we will probably not be able to get any more copies of this stunning objet d'art, which was released in an edition of just 350 copies. Then, there's the music, which is equally sublime. The work of Andrew Chalk has become synonymous with the drone supreme, but one that shifts from the tonal aggression that Tony Conrad and LaMonte Young would conjure, and toward something impressionistic and melancholy. As Chalk developed his craft on long-form masterpieces like East Of The Sun and Sumac (in collaboration with Jonathan Coleclough), he began to explore the nuances of melody through a rainy-day kaleidoscope of repetition. At the same time, Chalk has been mastering techniques of source abstraction which are entirely his own, creating haunted smears that are curiously inviting, reminiscent of the tape-loop effects that Basinski would generate, but with less reverb and delay. On such recent work as Ghost Of Nakhodka and The Cable House, Chalk's immaculate drones have been compacted into Eno-like miniatures of mirage, shadow, and filigree, all leading to the quiet, impressionist beauty of Violin By Night. The album might be sourced from piano, guitar, field recordings, and / or synths, but with Chalk's ability to twist any sound into his particular shades of grey, a discussion of origin is irrelevant. Each of the tracks on Violin By Night fade in and out of darkness like communications from a lonely satellite, whose existence is spent transmitting mundane blips down to earth with nothing being sent back in return. As the passing orbits cross the night sky, the transmissions come into focus revealing their muffled melodies only to dissolve as the satellite ventures into more desolate territories, such as the vast tundra of Siberia or some nameless island near Antarctica. There is a wonderful poetry hidden within these flickering tones and dissolving melodies that yearns for human contact and cast with maudlin hues when that contact is lost. Worth every penny and then some.
CHALK, ANDREW & CHRISTOPH HEEMANN The Mirror Of The Sea (Robot) lp 33.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Andrew Chalk and Christoph Heemann have been collaborating extensively as Mirror over the past year, so it seems odd that the two of them have suddenly decided to release an album under their given names. It would make sense if they deviated from their work as Mirror. The source material for this album, bowed bells, gongs, and distant guitar drones, differs, and while the overall beauty and concept reveal a definite Mirror-like desire to capture an elusive spirutual voice through the resonance of drones. Extended organ chords, gentle creaking of an old wooden floors, and long reverberations of breathy flutes make for a more baroque tonal quality than the typicalChalk / Heemann sound. "The Mirror Of The Sea" is a beautiful picture disc with drawings by Andrew Chalk on each side. Of course, it's recommended.
CHALK, ANDREW & DAISUKE SUZUKI In Faxfleet Clouds Uplifted Autumn Gave Passage To Kind Nature (Faraway Press) cd 17.98
Andrew Chalk released In Faxfleet Clouds in 2009 as a tiny edition of vinyl, something like 300 copies. We were not fortunate enough to get a hold of any of those lps; but we do have the cd to offer. It's another collaboration with Daisuke Suzuki, who has long contributed field recordings and sympathetic tones to many of Chalk's productions, dating way back to those legendary Ora recordings some twenty years ago. The album opens with a 13 minute piece that interlocks a series of brightened tones which emit the pastoral, summery glow of Cluster's cosmic synthesis, lifting above a sodden floor of recordings that sound like a bubbling stream or maybe a delicate clattering of wooden objects. Chalk has always had an exceptional way of abstracting his sources while retaining a 'natural' aura to those sounds, and those skills may certainly be in use on the undercurrent of softened noises. But those rounded, elegant, church-organ like tones that Chalk manages from whatever synth he's got a hold of are just simply gorgeous. All of these tones hang with the signature melancholy that resonates through so many of his recordings. The second piece is a bit more nocturnal in hue, due in part to the field recordings of crickets and the minor key ambience from synth and very distantly situated piano. A brief three minute track stands as the finale, with distinctly cosmic tones, gently strummed guitar, and impressionist piano. At a hair under 25 minutes, this is a rather short excursion for Chalk, but very very lovely.
"Queen Of Heaven" MPEG Stream:
"Of Beauty Reminiscing"
CHALK, ANDREW & DAISUKE SUZUKI The Days After (Faraway Press) cd 24.00
Chalk and Daisuke Suzuki have known each other for many years now, as Suzuki runs the Siren label out of Japan and had released Sumac, Chalk's masterful collaboration with Jonathan Coleclough. Suzuki is also responsible for one of the very few published interviews with the somewhat reclusive Chalk. Their friendship certainly runs deep, and out of this friendship came the impetus to collaborate once again (both Suzuki and Chalk had contributed to the now defunct Ora project well over a decade ago). Slippery drones open the album, declaring that Andrew Chalk is definitely the principal author of this album, and mimicking many of the fog-enveloped sounds that Chalk brought to Mirror's Eye Of The Storm. While these sounds quiver like a distant mirage out on the open desert for a passage of time that could be 5 minutes or could be 25, the long-string drones begin to separate into a series of alien plucks which bear more than a passing resemblance to the expressionist poetics of Keiji Haino at his most introspective. Echoes and vibrations of these plucks ripple underneath in the shadowy reflection pool of echo and shimmer. As the album progresses, the enveloping opiated drone wrapping around cold, cold, cold field recordings of arctic winds racing across a seashore becomes the centerpiece, reflecting just how good Andrew Chalk's sounds are. Lo and behold, it's another excellent Andrew Chalk record.
"Kasuri" MPEG Stream:
CHAMELLOWS Rat Hearts (Fonal) cd 17.98
Our favorite Finnish label and perhaps one of our favorite labels anywhere on the globe go into the vaults for this one and we're so happy they did. Chamellows (aka Sleeping Bags) is the scrappy, playful, naive pop side of Lau Nau (Laura Naukkarinen, whose Locust release from a few years back was a big AQ favorite!) and visual artist Mikko Kuorinki. Pulled from various limited edition 7"s and cassette only releases these are recordings that date back as far as a decade ago. This is sweet and demented lo-fi pop with lively experimentation and an answering machine quality recording that suits these songs so perfectly. Had us thinking of what Ariel Pink might sound like if he were from Finland. Or The Shaggs and Daniel Johnston brought into a vacant house in the middle of Finland with some ragtag equipment and some yummy psychedelics on the tip of their tongues. So warped and wonderful!
"Universal Goodwill" MPEG Stream:
CHANGELING Primeval Breath (Twonicorn) cassette 7.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Changeling are another band we've been wanting to hear more from, having so far only gotten our ears on half a tape from these guys, a tape they shared with AQ faves Quetzolcoatl, which should give you some idea of where they're coming from sonically. Where as Quetzolcoatl (and Q-offshoot Bonecloud) tend to explore vast dronescapes a la Taj Mahal Travellers, Changeling seem to exist in some alternate universe where time functions differently, where everything is slowed down, lazy lugubrious low end sonic sprawls, where melodies take minutes to unfurl not seconds, and vocals are more indistinct blurs, or haunting moaning drones, it's almost like Changeling are the avant garde underground cd-r DJ Screw, taking gorgeous tranquil freefolk and shimmery soft soundscapes, and slowing them waaaaaaay dooooooooown, sometimes adding effects, reversing some sounds, a warped sonic funhouse mirror, everything warbly and subtly twisted, a dark, sprawling musical crawl, everything oozing and drifting glacially, tones turned inside out, overtones allowed to ring out forever, a dreamy and divine world of soft slow motion ambience. As with all Twonicorn, gorgeously packaged, pro printed tapes, textured paper sleeves, and of course super limited, ONLY 100 COPIES!! Each tape hand numbered.
CHARALAMBIDES Three-Lane Blacktop (Two Lane Blacktop) lp 17.98
CHARLATAN Triangles (Digitalis) lp 19.98
CHARLES, CHRISTOPHE Undirected Dok (Ritornell) cd 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Christophe Charles previously collaborated with Markus Popp on the Oval album "Dok," probably the most abstract piece of glitchery in the Oval catalogue. Judging from the liner notes of his new "Undirected Dok" album, Charles was probably responsible for the indeterminant nature of that Oval disc. Charles proposes his idea of 'undirected music' as a means of attaining tonal harmony through the absence of structure, a concept that references both the music of John Cage and the the fog sculptures of Nakaya Fujiko, among other things. For the most part Charles' electronic collages on "Undirected Dok" succeed in their lofty goals. As can be expected from all releases on the Ritornelle label (experimental subsidiary of Mille Plateaux / Force Inc), Charles embraces the closed-circuit feedback logic of fellow lowercase technicians like Taylor Deupree and Coh; however, Charles escapes over-exposure to computer screen irradiation by venturing out to capture some fabulous field recordings of subterranean waterworks, bustling train stations, and children at playgrounds, which he then adds to the alienated sounds of digitial glitch processing.
CHARMING HOSTESS Punch (ReR) cd 14.98
CHARMING HOSTESS Sarajevo Blues (Tzadik) cd 16.98
For those familiar with the SF group Charming Hostess, this follow-up to 2001's Trilectic album is an eagerly anticipated, more than welcome sight (or should we say sound?). For those unfamiliar, this is a wonderful way to acquaint yourself with Charming Hostess' vibrant trio of fiery female vocalists Jewlia Eisenberg, Marika Hughes and Cynthia Taylor. Richly infused with Balkan, Jewish and Sufi elements, their music is at once captivatingly complex, electrifyingly bold and nothing short of acrobatic. You might also know these ladies for their membership in the equally avant SF bands Idiot Flesh and Sleepytime Gorilla Museum -- some of whose members also contributed to this album.
"What Will You Remember?" MPEG Stream:
"Death Is A Job"
CHARNEL HOUSE Contagion (Sygil) cd-r 8.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Record number two from this mysterious blackened witchy doomdirge combo, an offshoot of similarly droney and doomy aQ faves OS. But we're beginning to think we might dig Charnel House more than OS. And it has a lot to do with the vocals, which we described in another review as "demonic priestess vocals", which definitely sums it up pretty perfectly. If that whole new wave of female fronted heavy rock bands (Blood Ceremony, Jex Thoth, Christian Mistress) is just to polished for you, then maybe Charnel House is what you're after, way more raw and lo-fi, bleak and blackened, primitive and noisy, the sound slipping easily from doomy abstract dirge, to churning blackened blast, the sound minimal, and cyclical, repetitive and trancelike, and then when the vocals come in, the sound is utterly transformed, into some sort of black forest ritual, some wild witchy incantation, hovering ethereal and angelic over the churn and chug and blast and buzz below. "Erosive" is the perfect example of CH's strange sound, the band locked into a tranced out repetitive blast, over which a second guitar chugs out a droney looped chord, lurching and lumbering, totally at odds with the manic blast below, the sound all on its own totally mesmerizing, but then every once in a while the vox drift in, and the sound becomes more blissed out, more abstract, the heaviness tempered by the spectral quality of the vocals. The music sounds like Ride For Revenge or some other strangely minimal black metal outfit, the vocals just take it somewhere else, this raw abstract black metal becomes some sort of otherworldly heaviness. Elsewhere the record grows even more dramatic, with the band spitting out explosive gouts of wild chaotic heaviness, only to stop on a dime, leaving just the vocals and a simple rhythmic pulse (and a little hazy shimmer), to drift dreamily, before the band explodes back in. While elsewhere the band go slooooooow, transforming into a way more melodic Monarch, a dour slo-mo creep, again offset by those creepy, dreamy, haunting vocals. The production is a huge part of it too, sometimes murky and muddy, all the sounds muted and blurred into a near drone, while other times the sound is sharp and corrosive, changing the entire vibe of the song and the record. The more we listen to this, the more it reveals subtle details, headphones even more so, a dense, dark layered landscape of looped black buzz and haunted witchy mystery... Housed in a cool, hand stamped, cardstock sleeve, with a huge printed full color poster / lyric sheet inside, each one hand numbered, LIMITED TO 250 COPIES!!
"Erosive" MPEG Stream:
CHARNEL HOUSE The Leprosy Of Unreality (Sygil) lp 10.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Along with the insanely limited tape-and-bones-in-a-wooden-coffin from blackdoom horde OS (which is most likely already sold out), we also have this, the lp debut from Charnel House, a similarly blackened and doomy offshoot of the OS mothership, but with an added witchy element in the form of some demonic priestess vocals... The sound though is not hugely removed from that of OS, the riffs are murky and muddy and doomy, the tempo, at least at first is a slithery, lumbering creep, the percussion on the opening track doesn't even sound like drums, instead it sounds like a field recording of a passing freight train, which only makes it that much weirder and cooler, the result is some sort of abstract slowcore minimal doom, but those female vocals, definitely add another element, transforming it into something much more haunting and melodic instead of just sludgey and crusty. But CH are much more likely to erupt into full on blasting black metal, albeit a BM filtered through their own particularly cracked and filthy take on the sound, which renders the blast and buzz more washed out and chaotic, blurred and smeared, the beats, when you can hear them, either sound NOT like beats at all, like the freight train rhythm of the first track, or they're mostly buried under the roiling blackness above. And so it goes, the band shifting from that murky black crush, to more crusty minimal black doom plod, the drumming getting super strange and abstract when you can hear it, otherwise just adding to the general chaos, the slower bits are rife with soaring melodies and deep sonic swells, sometimes, leaving just ghostly ambience and those witchy vocals, just as often transforming into a murky cinematic warped and woozy drone-doom, or exploding back into another stretch of blasting chaotic blackness. LIMITED TO 250 COPIES, each one hand numbered, housed in cool folded textured paper silkscreened covers.
CHARTIER, RICHARD Decisive Forms (Trente Oiseaux) cd 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Richard Chartier's "Decisive Forms" would be a great record for cats, dogs, dolphins, baleen whales, bats, elephant seals, octopuses, grasshoppers, sea lions, harbor seals, moray eels, sharks, noctruid moths, hermit crabs, giraffes, american alligators, african crocodiles, hyaenas, elephants, black rhinos, common rats, grey pigeons, walruses, mice, drum fish, bauerbirds, chincillas, sea turtles, praying mantises, and pigmy shrews; yet this album may not neccessarily be geared for human enjoyment as almost every sound falls outside of the range of human perception. In positioning very quiet ultra-high frequencies against fluctuating passages of silence, Chartier has created an album that requires the listener to alter his/her environment for extreme quiet. A throwback to the time for Trente Oiseaux albums in which the question had to be asked, "so can you hear anything on the new Trente Oiseaux album?"
CHARTIER, RICHARD Incidence (Raster-Noton) cd 17.98
In many ways, the work of Richard Chartier is anathema to the aesthetic course embraced by Aquarius Records. It can't be tangentially connected to the expanding definitions of metal, and only liminally parallels the feral dronecore of Birchville Cat Motel and the Double Leopards. It doesn't lend itself to ridiculous ruminations on the artifice of memory and loss, or any hyperbolic rhetoric for that matter. It's hard even to call this type of work beautiful as the rigor embedded into the process is attuned to an cold sterility rather than an aspirations for aesthetic transcendence. Thus, Chartier's work simply is what it is: a pure manifestation of sound elegantly moving through time with a highly refined sensibility for the subtle transition. The simple perfection from the minimalist ethos is difficult to champion as the manifestations are hardly theatrical enough to warrant any of the marketing strategies listed above to make most people jump up and down; but here we are, announcing that Richard Chartier has crafted an exquisite album, one that may be his finest recordings to date. Incidence is a vacuum of external references, beginning and ending with the same hissing static. Chartier plunges the album into a series of interlocking subsonic frequencies. While these frequencies were never intended to achieve the heaviosity of SUNNO))) or Earth, Chartier's understanding of psychoacoustic principles actualizes an impressively claustrophobic display of blackened tones. As Chartier introduces a simple half-step melody against these extended drone vibrations, his work opens a small referential window towards the grim isolationism of Thomas Koner or BJ Nilsen. Time manages to stand still on the best of Chartier's work, and at over an hour in length, Incidence is over before you know it. Very, very well done.
"Incidence (excerpt 1)" MPEG Stream:
"Incidence (excerpt 2)"
CHARTIER, RICHARD Of Surfaces (L-NE / 12K) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Ultra-minimalist composer Richard Chartier has claimed that this album "suggests an incremental process of reduction with the compositional focus placed in the space between sound and silence." It takes about 17 minutes of practical nothingness before the barely perceptible elements of nervous fizzings, slow rumbles, and microscopic events make themselves audible. Similar compositional techniques have been employed by Bernhard Gunter and Francisco Lopez to astonishingly results, yet Chartier's highly restrictive palette of purely digital tones and pings points to the fact that "Of Surfaces" is merely an academic execution of the idea of minimalism, rather than the exploration of what minimalism can say. Thus, listening to this record is not relevant to understanding it.
CHARTIER, RICHARD Re'Post'Postfabricated (DSP) 2cd 19.98
CHARTIER, RICHARD Retrieval 1-5 (ERS) cd 19.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Easily the best Richard Chartier album we've come across! The DC-based ultra-minimalist has been responsible for a number of albums so reductivist in their methodology and presentation that even with headphones, it can be a strain to discern what profundities Mr. Chartier may be offering to his audience. Yet in recent years, Chartier has been shedding the minimalist hyperbole for sterilized electronica and creating some truely evocative compositions for impressionist ambience. There was his Archival 1991 and his collaboration with William Basinski which caused us to really take notice to Chartier's work as something beyond an exercise in ultra-minimalism; and now there's Retrieval 1-5. Originally meant to be released on vinyl (with only 2 pieces) in 2004, and finally released in the beginning of this year, has now been revamped for cd where it really belongs, and with three extra pieces. Basinski, Thomas Koner, Lustmord (e.g. Where The Black Stars Hang) and Keith Berry would all be reference points for the steady dronescaping that Chartier musters on these five tracks which were in fact retrieved from old analog material Chartier produced in the '90s. These beautifully rippled and hushed drones may not have the academic rigor that won Chartier the Honorable Mention for Ars Electronica, but they are far more evocative and emotionally connected than any of his earlier recordings. Recommended!
"Retrieval 1" MPEG Stream:
"Retrieval 4 (content / intent)"
CHARTIER, RICHARD & TAYLOR DEUPREE Specification.Fifteen (Line) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
CHARTIER, RICHARD / BERNHARD GUNTER / STEVE RODEN For Morton Feldman (Trente Oiseaux) cd 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Upon discovering this album on our new arrivals rack, Loren Chasse remarked "When hasn't a Bernhard Gunter album been a tribute to Morton Feldman?" It is true that over the past couple of years, the ultra-minimalist electronic composer Gunter has been paralleling Feldman's late period pieces, which centered around the slow evolution of slighly asymetrical tonal patterns for small wind-instrument ensembles. As Gunter has acquired the habit (perhaps from Feldman) of citing his influences as dedications and titles of his pieces, it was only a matter of time before "For Morton Feldman" came to fruition (after previous albums gave credit to Xenakis, Luigi Nono, Mark Rothko, etc.) Yet this album doesn't entirely speak with Gunter's voice as he has commissioned two of his closest associates, Richard Chartier and Steve Roden, to compose tributes to Feldman as well. Gunter begins the album with a processed field recording of rushing water, and adding wavering notes from a Sho - a Japanese flute which Gunter performs much like the dissonant notation that Feldman ascribed to pieces like "For Philip Guston." Richard Chartier's piece suffers from the same problem as the majority of his recordings... most of it simply can't be heard beyond muffled bass rumbles. Upon viewing the visual waveform of the material, it's clear that something is present, but operating at frequencies that our stereo can't generate / can't playback. The Steve Roden track, however, is the reason to get this tribute as his tidal fluctuation of metallic resonance with tiny, ghostly slivers of something sounding like a sitar struggling to be heard. It has to be said that none of these pieces are as challenging or as uncompromising as Morton Feldman's iconoclastic compositions; yet, strains of Feldman's austerity and muted colors run strong on this album.
RICHARD CHARTIER "How Things Change" RealAudio clip:
BERNHARD GUNTER "Fuyo No Ame (For Morton Feldman)" RealAudio clip:
STEVE RODEN "Stasis"
CHASING VOICES Acid Bathory (self-released) 12" 12.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. If only all dubstep sounded this mean and mysterious! A seriously dark, low slung slab of bass heavy skitter from some unknown electronic alchemist, a stripped down skeletal beat, some skull cavingly caustic electronic crunch, heavily panned, swinging from speaker to speaker, disembodied female vox, swirls of minor key synths, so tense and dense and claustrophobic, the beats wreathed in clouds of thick swirling bass buzz... Over the course of the track's 11 minutes, the mood and tension just get ratcheted further and further up, the sound more and more layered, like the soundtrack to some foreign thriller, maybe a chase scene through dark alleys, or a couple's decent into drug induced madness, the sound brooding and THICK, about as -heavy- as electronic music gets, easily our favorite dubstep/electronic jam of the year, it kills us it's only one song, but we've been playing this on repeat pretty much nonstop. One sided, super limited, packaged in a super swank hand screened jacket.
CHASING VOICES Ex Nihilo Nihil Fit (Chasing Voices) 12" 12.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
CHASSE, L. (LOREN) Exfolia Motors (Unique Ancient Tavern ) cd 11.98
Odd to think that this is only the second solo recording for San Francisco's exceptional sound artist Loren Chasse after his numerous outings with id battery, Thuja, and The Knit Separates. "Exfolia Motors" is a collection of four different works, whose sections are mixed up and interspersed along the continuum of the disc... as if each of these sections have been broken from their original narratives and been rearranged in a more poetic fashion. "Exfolia Motors" presents a beautiful crystallization of droning sound with origins in various bells and gongs, the dynamic pulsations of an amplified strobe light, field recordings from rural Pennsylvania, and the crackling details of paper, rocks, and cloth. Chasse accentuates his source materials with a soft-focus haziness that recalls the tonal purity of Andrew Chalk and Jonathan Coleclough. Rather than extended drone floats, Chasse prefers to situate small events in which he gently smears his subtle sound recordings across stark white silences. Goddamn beautiful. While certain labels (Meme, Trente Oiseaux) were a bit too slow and missed out on releasing this, we're certain that this wouldn't have had such amazing artwork (each cover is a different hand rubbing from a rough piece of wood... as opposed to the stark non-existent design work of either outfit) if Chasse hadn't put it out through his own imprint Unique Ancient Tavern. Recommended!
"Exfolia Motors 1" RealAudio clip:
"Furniture Next To Twilight 3"
CHASSE, L. (LOREN) Hedge Of Nerves (Anomalous) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Oval, Disc, Autechre... Lots of folks like that digital glitch stuff -- we do too -- but how 'bout some analog 'glitch'? Good old fashioned record crackle! AQ friend and fave sound artist Loren Chasse's new solo release, his first for Anomalous, totally delves into the realm of crackle, from records and beyond. For details, we may as well quote directly from the label's press release (since our own Allan wrote it!): "The work of sonic artist/investigator Loren Chasse (solo, Thuja, id Battery, Coelacanth and various manifestations of the 'Jewelled Antler collective') usually involves the documentation and manipulation of minute sound events (rubbings, scrapings, clickings) involving found objects and natural phenomena, emphasizing unexpected perspectives and connections. Even when performing in the psychedelic improv outfit Thuja, his 'instruments' primarily consist of contact mics, a mixer, some rocks and twigs, and his imagination. Loren's processed field recordings are fragile and full of strange beauty and feeling. "Hedge of Nerves is dedicated to a friend of Loren's who dearly loves the sound of record crackle as it mingles with the music from a record's grooves. He also enjoys the sound of record crackle alone, as when an LP cycles on its run-out groove. Compact disc reissues of early 20th century ethnic music 78s, or Portishead, or Philip Jeck: if it's got that crackle, he likes it! So, this friend asked Loren to make him a recording of vinyl surface noise only, one that he could DJ with, mixing with non-crackly musical sources, to create virtual scratchy records. For this reason, the idea was to avoid any obvious looping, but to make a continuous, unbroken and organic field of crackle. Thus inspired, however, the project soon turned into more than that, as Loren decided that it was more interesting to emulate the sound and texture of record crackle using other sources. The resulting cd indeed begins by utilizing sounds from a scratchy old 78 rpm disc (one recorded by Loren's grandfather in the 1930s at NBC Radio) but also explores more 'elemental' crackling sounds derived from fire and wind and water, from rustling branches, waves, and sand. Hedge of Nerves is dynamic, moving from loud crinkly-crackly storming sound-swarms to the sounds of a wilderness quietly bristling. It's a mesmerizing expanse of hiss and drone, buzz and click, with hints of melody (from his grandfather's 78). The originating idea of surface noise is ever-present, but upon closer examination that 'surface' proves quite deep, something within which the listener will become submerged, blissful and fascinated. Hedge of Nerves is a masterpiece -- just ask Loren's grateful crackle-loving friend, who files it with the best of Philip Jeck, Jonathan Coleclough, M. Behrens, Troum, and other masters of detailed drone constructions." As you might have guessed, that friend of Loren's is of course our own Allan...and he really does love this disc!! (And he did manage to use an advance version of this to DJ with at the Beyond The Pale festival last year -- it goes really well with Bo Hansson, actually.) Even if you're usually wary of some avantgarde academic "experimental" sterility, try this out anyway, it's warm and organic and inviting in a way many glitchy, noisy things are not, like a bonfire on a desolate, foggy sea-shore.
"track 2" RealAudio clip:
CHASSE, L. (LOREN) Siphon Glimmers (Unique Ancient Tavern) cd 12.98
Loren's first solo cd! (not a cd-r, either)
CHASSE, L. (LOREN) Synthesis of Neglected Places (Unique Tavern) cassette + book 9.99
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. THERE'S A CD-R VERSION NOW AVAILABLE A 60 minute tape of field recordings from Mr. Chasse's sabbatical to Pennsylvania this past summer. Humid atmospheres and fragmented sounds of stones scrapping across each other are accompanied by bittersweet piano and violin. While not intended to be as conceptually complete as some of Chasse's other albums (notably the brilliant Id Battery record for Ecstatic Peace), this a nice document into the working process into of the most underexposed sound artists.
CHASSE, LOREN Fantasy Apparition (s'agitarecordings) cd-r 9.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. During the past couple of years, San Francisco's Loren Chasse has split his time equally between textural minimalism, as found on his exceptional solo album "Exfolia Motors", and organic improvisations, as heard in Thuja as well as several other bands on the Jewelled Antler label. Yet, Chasse has released a couple of limited CD-Rs that bridge the two at times conflicting headspaces. "Fantasy Apparition" is one of those cross-pollenizing albums from Chasse, showcasing a good deal of sustained harmonium built into half melodies amongst Chasse's signature environmental abstractions, where low creaking drones emerge from blustery loops of slowed down cricket choruses and the hiss of burning wood. As always, Chasse contextualizes these field recordings and contact microphone striations with an amazing sense of mystery.
"Fantasy Apparition 1" RealAudio clip:
"Fantasy Apparition 6"
CHASSE, LOREN Script Lichen (Edition Graphon) 3"cd in petri dish w/lichen 23.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. There's no better way to visually represent the music of Jewelled Antler's Loren Chasse than with the various bits and fragments of nature's detritus, stones, pebbles, sticks, leaves, branches, dust and dirt. This newest release from Chasse goes a step further, encapsulating the disc itself (a little 3" cd) along with a sponge and a piece of lichen gathered from the German countryside in an actual petri dish, all in a sealed medical baggy. Wow. And the music inside is just as meticulously assembled as the packaging. Delicate and crystalline, intricate structures, microscopic movements, gentle reverberations, subtle scrapings, abstract shimmer and barely discernable micromelodies. It's almost impossible to tell which parts are natural ambience, and which parts are Chasse reacting and responding to nature, but that's what makes his work so vital and fascinating and what makes Script Lichen such an engrossing listen. And like the rest of Chasse's work, this is not something you just throw on (although you could), this music requires deep listening, active listening, the act of listening akin to a slow, exploratory wander through a sonic forest, every step causing brambles to shimmer and rub against each other, breezes to send leaves drifting earthward, the crunch of each step, the forest, and the earth around it, shifting slightly, the sonic evidence of such minute movements deftly captured by Chasse and reworked into a subtly different soundworld. So nice. Each 3" cd comes packaged as we said in a petri dish with a sponge and a piece of lichen, wrapped in a medical baggy, every one with a sticker, and hand numbered. LIMITED TO 250 COPIES!!! We only got 50 and once those are gone this will be out of print and gone for good!