Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Loving... "Chrysalis" by Chronotope Project
If it wasn’t for the music given to me to consider reviewing, I could easily get caught up in all the music submitted to my netlabel. Don't get me wrong, I love to listen to all the music I receive for waag - it's just that you need to cleanse the palate everysooften so that you can approach what you love with renewed vigour. This is why I love to receive music from folks to consider listening about. Not everyone makes it but those that do ... do so because they've caught my attention.
"Chrysalis" by Chronotope Project aka Jeffrey Ericson Allen on Relaxed Machinery is one such album. It captivated me from the get-go ... it intrigued me and aroused my senses like a deeply intoxicating fragrance. In fact, I would go so far as to say his ambient soundscapes are like a fragrance - they pervade and enhance any physical space and bring with them a positive and uplifting presence. The sounds presented enhance the listener and his/her immediate space. The sounds build up everyone who hears them and I, for one, am really grateful for this.
There is an effervescence to tracks like the opener and title track - "chrysalis" - it moves and evolves ... dancing into the subconscious of the listener ... giving them something to focus and fixate on. It really is captivating ... a swirling movement of ambient sounds and tribal percussion. It is a pleasure to behold and to be held by this enrapturous music.
The soundscapes presented within the 72 minutes of this release are all similarly captivating ... "l’avenue du ciel" (the second track) is more atmospheric ... opening with a drone before presenting a deeply hypnotic synth that counteracts the joy of the opening track with a sense of the melancholic. The juxtaposition is electric and oh so delicious ... especially when the track shifts gear around the 4 minute mark with the introduction of ethnic percussion and a slightly more trance-y aesthetic - it is still melancholic but with some drive and movement. Movement that is further encouraged with the introduction of a field recording of flowing water. Whilst this is a wonderful addition, it is not for the weak bladdered.
Track three - "Trance-Missions" - is also wonderfully expressive with a real sense of vitality and movement. At 25:36 it is in no hurry to expressive itself ... instead it takes it's own time to grow and become - an act that I found utterly captivating and thrilling to witness.
When a subtle beat is introduced around the 5 1/2 minute mark, the anticipation is palpable - "where will this track go?" is the question on my lips. The introduction of a sequencer around the 7 minute mark helps to answer this by building a heady rhythm to follow. It explodes around the 11 minute mark into something decidedly hypnotic and all-encompassing. Truly brilliant. It does calm down in the later stages of the track ... but by that time the intended effect has been experienced and enjoyed ... sheer, unadulterated joy. Brilliant, truly brilliant.
The penultimate track - "reflecting pool" - is a truly immersive experience with a field recording of a pool of water underpinning some seriously lovely harmonic atmospherics and windchime-like percussive sounds. I find this track deeply relaxing.
The final track is stunning - "Eternity's Sunrise" is an aural delight. The use of the guitar is such an other-worldly manner whilst underpinned with an utterly delightful synth drone is just breathtaking.
The way the track builds from these initial moments with deep percussion and the wailing of such longing on guitar is truly marvellous. This is the soundtrack to an unseen film and I want to see the film!
This is a great track on a great album. An album I am captivated with and will, without doubt, treasure for a long time.
My sincere thanks to Jeffrey Ericson Allen for sending me the album to listen to. Please take some time to listen to it in the embedded player below … and do what you can to support Allen with this project: