Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Chapels - So Many Blood-Lakes (House of Alchemy CS)

Just in from Foxy Digitalis:

House of Alchemy head Adam Richards has been at it for some time, but only recently has his Chapels project really started to make a splash, and rightly so. This cassette represents yet another success for this conjurer of the strange, manipulating tapes and plenty of other indecipherable sonic obscurities into a brew of garble that treads the line between the “what the hell was that?” sound of Sick Llama and the meandering (de)constructivist slant of Trauma guitar slinger Chris Riggs.

Breaking each side in two, Richards presents four distinct realizations of a similar aesthetic. The first side opens with “Who’s Your Creep?,” which is as good a title as any I suppose considering the deranged string twangs and odd atmospheres concocted. Nice pace here; real slow and mushy without turning into anything significant, as these sorts of dabblings too often do. Rather, each sound is allowed its say before moving along toward some other thwap, twang or wooze. “Wet Heat, Part I” closes the side with a denser version of the sound, moving into a pretty grim drone that shudders rather than hurls its way forward.

Side two opens with the second part of “Wet Heat,” and this time around it’s a nearly Skaters aesthetic, with the sound of the tape starting up a critical part of the piece as a whole. Rather than pulsing along with this stuff however, Chapels keeps it going with wave after wave of static screech atop small pot and pan intricacies. Neither intentionally harsh nor hip, this is some well-conceived, carefully (but not claustrophobically) controlled stuff. The closing “”Song for that Blue Room” is even more still, delving into the dregs of some basement stove where the kettle’s always on and the brew is mysterious. Dusty and ground down, it’s a fittingly uneasy closer to another winner from this intriguing sonic outlet.

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