ANDREW CHALK – Incidental Music

Faraway Press

In a time of instability and incertitude, the flourishing of releases and online cooperations has somehow attenuated the consequences of an inevitable alienation. However, those who jump on any handy bandwagon because the moment is conducive to (finally) becoming known must be considered differently from those who create out of innermost necessity, eschewing holey statements and pitiful trends. Andrew Chalk is a genuinely meaningful artist, and his research has been proving it from the beginning.

In recent years, Chalk has shifted from music based primarily on drones to material floating between high-level ambient and acoustic depiction of individual movements scented with melancholy. Incidental Music is a symbol of sorts for his current production, consisting of rather succinct episodes whose intrinsic peacefulness never transcends into superficiality. The latter is an unknown word in this man’s vocabulary.

Elusive melodic traits echo and shimmer, their refractions at times rippled by a very slight distortion. Occasionally, chordal washes derived perhaps from analog synthesizers generate more tactile harmonic progressions. Overall, the timbres are not easily distinguishable, although we know that the gentleman from Hull is able to make a guitar sound like a Fender Rhodes simply by working on specific frequency bands. Timo Van Luijk and Tom James Scott appear on a track, on vibes and piano respectively. One bathes with pleasure in the blend of pensiveness and comfort conveyed by these sonorities. Sometimes we don’t really need anything else to slow the heartbeat down a little bit, and drive the attempts at negative influence out of the mind.

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