ANDREW CHALK – Violin By Night

Faraway Press

New exemplars of Andrew Chalk’s ephemeral audio visuals, expressively transmitted throughout a vinyl album whose packaging’s stunning quality is directly proportional to its near-secrecy (no title or explanation in English language, only Japanese characters and the wonderful depiction of an animal dinner-dance both on the cover and the disc’s label). For this occasion the composer’s predilection for acoustic fog – characteristically developing from a profound processing of ever-unspecified instruments – is harmonized by the propensity to state few things in limited temporal extents. The tracks are in fact relatively short (actually this is not a new thing for Chalk, if you remember well) and their content more lyrically reachable than the awesome inscrutabilities of albums like, say, Vega. If any, vague associations with the best – and still respectable – Brian Eno might apply; also, there are sections in which the reiteration of certain orchestral tints will undoubtedly cause someone to mentally evoke the spirit of William Basinski. However the broken up ambiances and the suggestive soundscapes that constitute the trademark of this shy lone wolf are entirely unique, looped decay and poignantly transient metaphors at the basis of an instantly identifiable method. What needs to be stressed is that the man is one of the purest artists I know of, totally unwilling to subject his materials to the squalid promotional processes needed to please a wider audience. We can distinctly perceive time, labour and commitment getting put into such a release; in times of slapdash mediocrity, it’s enough to make us breathe a little better.

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