Sunday, September 18, 2016
Put on the circuit via the ever active Room40-imprint on August 26th, 2k16 is "Which Way To Leave?", the latest album effort created by Australian-born and now Sweden-based composer John Chantler who has been releasing experimental electronic music ever since the year 2000. With his most recent longplay piece Mr. Chantler explores the vast possibilities of melodic abstractions of a multilayered, distorted, yet not necessarily chaotic nature. Structured around a rhythmic but not beat-bound foundation of digital distortion and electric buzzing we'll come across a beautiful, alien array of yearning, crystalline synth melodies in the opening tune "Falling Forward", enter a mixture of twisted, reprocessed found sounds and scientific soundcapes in "Two And Four" and are introduced to alienated Ambient in the short skit that is "Clearing". The "Fixation Pulse" takes us into toxic swamps found on planets in a galaxy far, far away and defo provides some dreamy, welcoming organo-distorted soundtrack'ish / score'esque qualities whilst the subsequent "Lesser Demands" fuses a strive for minimalistic soundscaping with sparse, resilient low frequency pulses of possibly modular or electro-acoustic origin. "All Visible Signs" however leads the listener towards inward looking ambientisms combined with ever busy, multilayered bleeps of computational operations executed in macrospace whereas the "First December" is, as the name might suggest, a slighty frosty affair and can surely be filed under the flag of Cold Ambient although incorporating some reprocessed elements of more organic origin for sure and evolving into something calm and truly cinematic throughout the course of a little over ten minutes before seamlessly progressing into the sequel which is the "Second December". Finally things are "Beginning Again" where "All Visible Signs" have left us - although on a way slower and more relaxed tempo the feel of unfamiliar machines processing data of unknown value remains and concludes an album pretty much interesting for followers of experimental music in general and collectors of sci-fi scores in particular although this one is not a score at all.