ANDREW CHALK & DAISUKE SUZUKI – The Shadows Go Their Own Way

The time-honoured alliance between Chalk and Suzuki is enriched by a new episode – typically sheltered by a tenderly refined sleeve artwork – where aspects that sound a little more “present” or concrete, if you like, are explored preferentially as opposed to the wraithlike qualities of previous releases either by the duo or Chalk alone.

In general, the sounds and the overall mix are uncooked in a human way, showing an inclination for the material features of the surroundings: closely recorded motors, voices of people from the streets, cans, scraped metals giving shape to irregular drones. This is counterbalanced by quasi-oneiric sequences of organ/synthesizer and crickets in the sixth track, among the masterpieces of this fine disc, and rudimentarily poignant string melodies in the ninth and eleventh (all the tracks are untitled).

Sections characterized by the emblematic wonderful frailty expressed by these artists’ visions are not missing, though, and one welcomes the presence of gritty pictures of traditional instruments and a timidly humming woman like a comeback to the birthplace after many years, scents, lights and memories blurred in an indescribable sensation of belonging that is contrasted by the confirmation of the elapsing of existence, the distress deriving from the sureness that nothing will be back as we remembered it. These men are the rare possessors of a gift which allows them to reveal the purity that’s left inside sensitive beings, and that too frequently is forgotten in favour of opportunism and façade by the others.

It might take various spins of this apparently uneven record to understand, but the beauty that it irradiates is physical and often dolorous. You should remain overwhelmed in complete loneliness, as speaking with someone while this music spreads its wholesomeness in the air equals breaking an unrepeatable spell.


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