I suddenly realized that nearly four years have elapsed since my last review of a record involving Andrew Chalk, despite a continued conversancy with most everything he issued in recent times. The alert bulb is flashing during a period where the motivations to keep writing on consequential music are progressively frustrated by an uncontrollable cascade of demoralizing releases. As of now, even remembering what comes in is difficult.

With the quotidian ineluctably shifting towards a “silent resignation” form, we witness the evaporation of comprehension, subtlety and individual experience in favor of social inanity and hopeless mental dependence on someone or something. What suffers in this state of affairs is the work of estimable artists getting unjustly overlooked amidst piles of objects manufactured only to gratify one’s amour propre, inevitably destined to gather dust (or merely replenish the hard disks).

However, genuine creators do have a way to remain relevant. Chalk – here with long-time friend Daisuke Suzuki, also the Siren label’s mastermind – is a man we blindly trust in that sense. Yama To Nashi is another fine example of cross-pollination of nerve-soothing sonorities, concrete apparitions, murmured songs and melodies from remote areas of the globe. Or constellations, if you will. Clever mixing and processing transform each piece in a wellspring of precious luminescence; we’re bewitched into dimensions of contemplative calmness too often forgotten of late. The trademark high quality of the handmade artwork is a major plus, fitting splendidly with the sonic content.

We observe the actions of those who surround us, silently wondering about the self-obsessed fuss and the necessity of being considered beyond one’s actual value. Chalk and Suzuki provide a few answers with the conscious imperturbability of an aging philosopher, letting the listeners free to determine the practicable methods within the multitudes of potentially misleading choices.

The sound of the clouds portrayed by a child’s inner ear.

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