impasse #1 (2010) 3" cd-r

impasse #1 (2010)
three-inch cd-r, edition of 75 copies.
1 track, 14 minutes
released september 2010



Following their five CDR releases, Finnish Chemins decided to work towards their real first CD. They are a band of improvised music using guitar, drums and electronics, and play great textured music. It seems that recording their first CD isn't an easy task and the band has had some 'failed' attempts and they started all over again. But not all they recorded was bad, so they release 'Impasse #1', with some of the material they recorded. This is certainly not bad material at all. All the usual Chemins elements are present: sustaining notes on the guitar, carefully placed bleeps, deep bass like laptop sounds and bits of percussion, carefully building up towards crescendo around the ten minute break and slowly dying out with a meandering guitar. A small, yet very refined piece of music. Nothing like an impasse, me thinks. (Frans de Waard, Vital Weekly 751)

At last, they are no longer faceless, or at least this Finnish bunch has a representative, M. Heinonen. Finally they are someone. Not that a listeners experience is changed at all by attachment to identity, but as a sense of correspondence it pleased me no end.
This ep, which is neither a continuation of the CDR series, nor a preview of a forthcoming album in 2011, it represents its namesake, an experiment, a series of turns on ideas, leading to an impasse. It at the very least suggests a destination, or the idea of a path towards, but that form of expression can be at the least formulaic at the most prescient, depending on your outlook.
It opens with a static switch start, warm synth, and jagged attack electricity, added tonal layers and tuned static. Bringing in waves of solid sound held in the air, then brief guitar displays. They get the sound humming and a sense of shape or direction, but it may be only moving between phrases that give it this sense. A strict reading of sound as non representative mays reduce all utterances to sonic forms without any semantic meaning, but that is not where the music leads you. Seven minutes in, the palette becomes full; ideas stream together and assault the ear, modulated plink plonk, harsh static, sharp disjunctive tones. Certainly if you were of the idea to destroy all rational thought this could be your soundtrack, then it melts into a melodic electronic keyboard section which could be described as delightful, or perhaps the assault merely primed appreciation of a gentler world, it moves towards finale with the residue of the static extinguishing slowly. (Innerversitysound / Cyclic Defrost, 27.11.2010)

"Chemin" - a path, a lane, a winding country road. Leading somewhere but not for anyone in any hurry.
Finland's Chemins has five self-released, three-inch CDRs all featuring terrific cover art - and I mean "art" - to its credit, a series apparently issued as a kind of housecleaning of material recorded between 2003-09. Now that the cupboard is bare and the cobwebs cleared from the head, Chemin is reportedly at work on a full-length album. Whether Impasse #1 is a taster or a brief statement of intent is not known.
"Impasse" serves as an apt description of the brief piece. A cold shower of steely falling stars is overtaken by a warm bass oscillation. A delicate, almost zen guitar interlude is overcome by irregular but somehow friendly drumming which swells into a tsunami of non-corrosive noise. It recedes. All is still.

Impasse #1 moves from cold to warm, warm to cold, cold to warm. This might give the impression that it leaps from mood to mood, but instead, it is more like strolling through a gallery, taking in a series of paintings which are different, all painted from the same palette, but applied in varying textures. (Stephen Fruitman, Sonomu, 28.12.2010)

Après une superbe série de mini CDR, nous étions en attente d’un album annoncé pour 2011. Surprise alors de voir apparaitre ce nouveau mini CD dont le titre semble annoncer une nouvelle série. Impasse porte parfaitement son titre puisqu’il s’agit de travaux devant lesquels le groupe s’est trouvé bloqué, alors que les musiciens travaillaient sur l’album à venir. Ils décidèrent alors de recommencer depuis le début, mais aussi de sortir cet enregistrement avorté, documentant ainsi leur trajectoire vers l’album, avec ses erreurs d’orientation.

Certainement comme vous en lisant ces lignes, nous nous sommes dit sur le coup que nous allions écouter des chutes de studio, des sessions lives, des bribes d’improvisations... Le drone profond qui ouvre le disque, un peu sourd mais de toute beauté, aura vite fait de nous rassurer sur la nature de cette production, parfaitement aboutie. Le groupe reste cohérent avec ses précédentes sorties, délivrant ici une piste unique d’un quart d’heure, mêlant avec harmonie acoustique et électronique, composition et improvisation, bruit et mélodies, rage et poésie.
Les drones se voient parsemés d’interjections électroniques, craquements, déchirements, bruit blanc, crissements, sur fond de frétillements métalliques et puissant. Comme à leur habitude, les finlandais enchaînent divers travaux et méthodes, passant d’une guitare répétitive et apaisée à des percussions improvisées, évoluant petit à petit vers un bruitisme électronique et crépitant pour s’achever dans la douceur d’une lente et timide mélodie de clavier, ponctuée de lointains chuintements et sifflements.
Peut-être une impasse dans le cadre de la composition d’un album, cette production fait ici figure d’un superbe EP qui ne décevra pas les amateurs de ce talentueux groupe finlandais.
(Fabrice Allard, EtherREAL, 12.2.2011)

One of the recent high points of writing Wonderful Wooden Reasons has been being one of the recipients of the CDR series of releases by this fantastic Finnish ensemble.
This mini-CDR is an involuntary beginning of a new project from the group prompted by an unexpected musical impasse during the recording of their debut full length album.
The 14 minutes of music represents a journey that touches on many of the areas their previous releases have visited. The music rolls smoothly from one texture to the next with only the change at 5:02 feeling forced. The rest represents yet another beautifully somnolent piece of music from this collective. (Ian Holloway, Wonderful Wooden Reasons)

cdr #5 (2010) cd-r

cdr #5 (2010)
("new peeks through old holes")
1 track, 24 minutes
released july 2010



Now, with the release of the fifth Chemins CDR, a little more is revealed: 'this is the fifth and final installment in the CDR series; like the four previous one, it is a montage of materials recorded between 2003-2009. The group will now start work on a full length CD of entirely new material to be released in 2011'. Ah. That explains a few things, one of which is the fact that all releases may have had one track, but clearly a montage of various tracks. Like I wrote before, the euphoria of the initial release is gone, but they maintain a high quality in producing music on the fringes of microsound, post rock, improvisation, drones and field recordings - I was thinking a less hectic, drumless Brise Glace here. This fifth installment sees them returning pieces flowing into eachother, and not like a cut-up as on the fourth one. Probably five bits here, with the final ending being their loudest manifestation so far. Another absolutely fine addition. Now someone should make a best of five release, as a long player. Can't wait hear to hear from them again in 2011. Hopefully sooner. (Frans de Waard, Vital Weekly 742)

Apparently this is the last we'll see of Chemins for a little while which is a damn shame. Their five little cdr releases have been one of the absolute highlights of the last year. The good news is thought that they're going away to concentrate on writing a full length album for release next year sometime.
CDR #5 continues where the 4 previous left off with Chemins luxurious soundworld of slow drones and introspective guitar interspersed with flickering electronic and rolling builds all present and accounted for. This time out though the lovely wee fellas have added a host of other interesting twits and textures to the mix. There's a vaguely lounge jazz air to one part and a distinctly middle eastern flavour to another before the whole thing rises for a euphoric conclusion.
It all adds up to yet another really rather wonderful 20 minutes spent in very good company indeed. I cannot wait for the album. (Ian Holloway, Wonderful Wooden Reasons 10/2010)

The latest elusive missive from Chemins is one track; ‘New Peaks through Old Holes’. Unlike the predecessors it is very quiet and minimal. Guitar and resonant effects, slight sounds in the background, definitely a headphone piece. In their aim towards enigmatic status they take the minimal to a sense of farce, beyond the sense of any particular aim or goal. Perhaps it is just discrete sounds in space and a few soundboard tunings or effects that amuse the arts school student. Definitely no filling stadiums with this sound, perhaps an art gallery would lap them up with a bit of white on white geometric play signifying …..
About 15 minutes into the 23.46 minute track they start getting serious, or at least creating a semblance of activity, the profusion of static effect, synth manipulation at low level hum, cut in by guitar and either a manipulated sample of a clarinet or a modified electronic trope. Then patter oscillation, for quite some time, recurrence of some previous themes and a build on the overall sound depth and texture.

Generally this anonymous Helsinki group give my brain a more through workout, pushing the senses to a state of arousal and the mind to the end of its tether trying to grasp some form of the notation or language on display. Then 3 minutes to the end, they blast you with a frenetic guitar and static attack, definitely some satiated pleasure, if music is reduced to stimulation of the nervous system. Overall it was a quiet and disjointed end to the CDR series which has been highly disturbing, by which I mean generally difficult challenging sound. (Innerversitysound / Cyclic Defrost, 27.11.2010)

Cela fait 7 mois maintenant que l’on parle de Chemins, projet finlandais dont nous ne savons toujours pas grand chose. En 7 mois le groupe aura sorti 5 CD-R, tous construits selon le même principe, avec à chaque fois une piste unique de 20-25mn. cdr #5 est annoncé que le dernier de la série, et il est lui aussi le fruit d’un collage de sons enregistrés entre 2003 et 2009.

Au fil des près de 24mn que dure New Peeks Through Old Holes, l’auditeur passe d’une ambiance à l’autre mais aussi d’une technique à l’autre, donnant parfois l’impression qu’il s’agit en fait de plusieurs pistes de 4-5mn qui ont été assemblées en une longue plage. À la manière des dernières productions de Chemins, on note ici une nette dominante ambient. Acoustique dans un premier temps avec de lentes et éparses notes de guitare, quelques glitchs, sifflement, nappe lointaine en guise d’habillage, de relief. Longue accalmie ensuite, ambiance nocturne au sons frétillants d’insectes, puis on retrouve quelques percussions improvisées, des éléments qui sont plus rares mais que l’on retrouve assez régulièrement dans les travaux de ces finlandais.

On est ensuite immergé dans un drone doux qui nous mène vers des souffles, chuintements, crissements, un fourmillement de bruitages, plein de vie et de tension d’où finit par s’extraire une aussi douce qu’inattendue mélodie de clarinette... Alternant les hauts et les bas, le calme (qu’il soit doux, expérimental, minimaliste) et le bruyant (qu’il soit rock, improvisé, bruitiste) Chemins dessine des fossés, des arbres, des herbes folles, des congères, autant d’éléments qui bordent la route que suit l’auditeur. On avance les yeux bandés, allant de surprises en surprises, toutes plus belles les unes que les autres, jusqu’à sentir monter un timide martèlement mélodique. Sans prévenir, tous les éléments semblent exploser d’un coup, dans un magma à la fois rythmique, mélodique et bruitiste, bref, frénétique, excitant, une conclusion en apothéose pour cette série de CD-R.
Comme on le mentionnait sur une précédente chronique, Chemins a annoncé travailler sur un album à paraître courant 2011. Pourtant le groupe semble s’être lancé en parallèle sur un autre projet puisque nous vous parlerons prochainement de ce qui semble être une nouvelle série intitulée Impasse... (Fabrice Allard, EtherREAL, 18.12.2010)

cdr #4 (2010) cd-r

cdr #4 (2010)
("the myths of physicists")
1 track, 24 minutes
released may 2010



The fourth disc by Finlands' Chemins (see also Vital Weekly 707, 716 and 725), with again one track, now few minutes longer. They still haven't changed: they operate within the context of rock music, improvisation and electronics (field recordings most likely). They now gave their piece a title, for the first time, 'The Myth Of Physicists', but that's the only notable change. They move along various passages within a piece, with processed field electronics and guitars and some sparsely used percussion. This new piece seems to be a bit more working a like cut-up, without the natural flowing of one piece into the next. This piece has four main sections, which are mostly mellow in approach. Only the first and third section are a bit more harsh. Chemins fine tune their approach a bit further with this release and this might be their best to date. (Frans de Waard, Vital Weekly 733)

These little bi-monthly(ish) parcels from this Finnish outfit have been a real treat and this fourth instalment does nothing to spoil that run.
Chemins play a slow build drone with occasional percussive flurries and electronic flourishes. Their music is understated and unhurried and usually with just a tinge of kraut style cosmic exploration.
The sole track, 'The Myths of Physicists', that makes up cdr#4 is constantly turning wheel of sound. It's opening gambit of forceful abrasion soon relaxes into a softer shape which in turn acquires some grit and debris as it rolls. For the bulk of the piece the music is content to gently unfurl with only the faintest of embellishments to avoid cluttering the ambience. When it does erupt it does so in a nicely organic manner that carries one along nicely.
Another quality release from this ensemble. If drones are your thing and you're not already following these fellas then you really are missing out. (Ian Holloway, Wonderful Wooden Reasons 08/2010)

Nous poursuivons la découverte de Chemins avec ce quatrième EP en 6 mois, en reprenant le même principe : auto-production, un seul titre d’une vingtaine de minutes, format CD-R et une certaine cohérence graphique au niveau de la pochette.
Plus d’effet de surprise, et au contraire une certaine attente vu la qualité des précédentes productions, au point de se dire que l’on ne peut pas être déçu par ce nouveau disque. D’un autre côté, étant donné la fréquence des sorties que tient le groupe, notre regard commence déjà à se porter sur les premiers volets afin de comparer et cerner certaines remises en cause ou au contraire des persistances dans une certaine voie.

Pas de grosse surprise nous disions donc, une palette sonore habituelle et maîtrisée, avec en tête field recordings et drones soyeux, doux, lorgnant vers l’ambient, faisant souvent penser à un avion ronronnant indéfiniment dans le ciel. On le remarquait déjà sur cdr #2, Chemins s’est petit à petit éloigné de la musique improvisée. Fini les frétillements rythmiques, ce son qui donnait l’impression d’écouter une session live, le groupe finlandais opte ici pour un ton plus posé, moins fou, qui contribue lui aussi à faire de cdr #4 un album ambient.
L’ouverture est assez brutale avec un magma de bruitages tant électroniques qu’acoustiques, organiques, habillés de nappes de guitares grésillantes. On devine une cymbale, mais à peine frôlée, elle ne délivre qu’une nappe résonante et on embraye sur une succession de drones oscillants et flottants sur des bruissements et chants d’insectes. Si Chemins compose généralement de longues pièces au sein desquelles on distingue plusieurs mouvements, cette nouvelle production se démarque avec des cassures assez nettes, étonnantes alors que l’on navigue en pleine plage ambient, tout juste ponctuée par les frétillements d’un mini ventilateur. Mais que l’on ne s’y trompe pas, Chemins parvient toujours à nous scotcher dans ses longs développements avec montée progressive de bruissements jusqu’à en devenir écrasants, et des grincements flottants, oscillants, comme les rayons du soleil qui se réfléchissent sur un mobile au gré du vent.

Le final est lui aussi sublime, et ne laissera pas insensibles les fans d’ambient avec ses nappes douces, son souffle montant, à peine ponctué d’un claquement grave.

Le groupe continue donc sur sa lignée avec cette nouvelle production, particulièrement conseillée aux amateurs de drones ambiants. (Fabrice Allard, EtherREAL, 29.8.2010)

cdr #3 (2010) cd-r

cdr #3 (2010)
("the ovary of future")
1 track, 19 minutes
released march 2010



The third release by Chemins from Finland (see also Vital Weekly 707 and 716), and again its a twenty minute work, working from a rock end improvisation in the area of drone music. Even more here than before. Drums seems absent, or play rotating tunes with objects on the toms? The guitars can being played with e-bows or violin bows and all along there is a bunch of field recordings; I assume these are played on a laptop which is also responsible for the electronic sounds in the music. Like with their second release, this piece has two distinct parts, broken up by some louder parts on the guitar but in the second half it moves more and more into an electronic field. Again an excellent piece, on par with the previous two releases. Chemins, people, Chemins. Get them for your label. Please listen up. I tell you, you won't be disappointed. (Frans de Waard, Vital Weekly 725)

Got the third release (CDR #3) in a series by the Finnish mystery project Chemins, which you can only procure from their website. One twenty minute track called ‘The Ovary Of Future’ is simple droning music perhaps created by layering acoustic instruments and pouring the results through various digital filters; not un-nice, but not particularly memorable either. (Ed Pinsent, The Sound Projector, 17.4.2010)

Chemins are a mysterious Finnish project working the droney side of the street on this one-track CD-r. Not much information is out there on this band; no band members are listed on their myspace page or on their blog, and repeated searches procured no further information regarding instrumentation or the names of the people involved.
As for the music? Carefully combined guitar and synth sounds hiss and hum while assorted field recordings whirr and crackle, and a patient, elegant feeling emerges as "The Ovary of Future" progresses through its nineteen-minute running time. The blissed-out warmth of the beginning gives way to a darkening mood; a repeating low piano chord signals the start of the piece's second segment, which uses a low-in-the-mix clicking noise to undercut the gentle burble of a moody synthesizer drone. The track returns to its original part briefly, before a pulsating synth figure arrives to ride the drift to its coda. The breadth of this composition is impressive, as is its execution.
"The Ovary of Future" touches on sounds explored by artists like Birchville Cat Motel and Stars of the Lid, but Chemins go beyond mimicry to establish their own identity. On "CDR #3" Chemins demonstrate tremendous restraint and control in their sound, as if they know that getting there is half the fun of any journey. It will be interesting to see where they go from here. (Mike Griffin, Foxy Digitalis, 26.5.2010)

Every other month or so in 2010 I've received another little 20 minute postal missive from this Finnish outfit. This one is, at least initially, a far more solemn affair than the other two filled with trepidation and despair before opening up in the latter half of the album into a gloriously expansive cosmic keyboard swirl.
Across the three releases Chemins have proved themselves to be adept at shifting between the poles of ambient music and have already created a body of work that many in the field would (and should) envy. They produce music that exists in and of itself without any of the tiresome and trite clichés appended to it that so haunt this little corner of the music world. Recommended. (Ian Holloway, Wonderful Wooden Reasons 06/2010)

Troisième volet de cette série de CD-R produite par les finlandais de Chemins, toujours réalisé selon les mêmes critères : auto-production, format EP avec une pièce unique d’une vingtaine de minutes, et on commence à apprécier la cohérence graphique de leurs pochettes à base de peintures. Par contre toujours pas plus d’infos sur les membres de cette formation...
Étant donné la fréquence de sortie de ces disques, et le fait qu’on en chronique presque un par mois, on sait a peu près à quoi s’attendre avec ce cdr #3, ce qui ne gâche en rien notre plaisir. Le groupe mélange les sources sonores, entre drone, field recordings, nappes, improvisations acoustiques et traitements électroniques et continue à surprendre de part les variations et combinaisons infinies que permettent ces éléments.
La musique de Chemins est d’une incroyable finesse. En l’espace d’une dizaine de secondes, on devine une nappes électronique proche du drone, une autre qui semble être créée par la résonance d’une cymbale, puis une sorte de brève note de guitare. Bientôt c’est un souffle qui imite une respiration, et l’ensemble des éléments crée un magma doux et cotonneux, hypnotique. The Ovary of Future puisque c’est le titre de cette unique pièce, se révèle être la production la plus ambient de Chemins. Même si l’on retrouve des sonorités plus habituelles des musiques improvisées (cuivres retenus, petits grincements acoustiques), tous ces éléments jouent de concert en créant une sorte de drone sans cesse oscillant.
L’unique morceau se compose de trois parties marquées par le claquement d’une percussion métallique, abordant dans un deuxième temps de denses fourmillements, chaleureux crépitements, tintements sur des nappes linéaires, pour finir par un dernier mouvement plus classiquement ambient, à base de nappes et boucles de synthés pour un résultat très psyché-krautrock. Malgré ces trois parties distinctes et comme vu précédemment, la musique de Chemins se présente comme un continuum sonore, une exploration des combinaisons du son.
Peut-être séduit par la teneur ambient de ce nouveau volet, cdr #3 est certainement la production de Chemins que l’on préfère à ce jour. À noter que pour faire suite à ces EP, le groupe prévoit logiquement un premier album courant 2011. (Fabrice Allard, EtherREAL, 1.8.2010)

Finnish project Chemins return to tempt with their particular brand of mysterious anonymity. They are keen to use the internet to breed the sense of curious distance in the listener. The music itself only amplifies this tendency in their preference for recording and releasing long tracks with titles that avail of few handles to grasp onto for understanding. This installment is called The ovary of the future. Your guess as to it’s portent is as good as mine.
Musically it is a drone like journey, guitars and synth played and manipulated until their traditional intonation has dissolved. Combined this with field recordings, electronic glitches, high end digital static and what sounds like Tibetan prayer bowls; but could easily be another instrument reshaped into the sonic form. The sound of the gong just over half way through announces a busier ambience, which equates to more parts defining the warm blissed out static tones and moving into a hushed gurgling tonal cycle with a low water like trickle of sound. Then after a hush there gathers a final movement, pulsing tone synth action, which a church organ like reverence, scattering effects and chirping little melodic flourishes. (Innerversitysound / Cyclic Defrost, 2.8.2010)

cdr #2 (2010) cd-r

cdr #2 (2010)
1 track, 21 minutes
released january 2010



Back in Vital Weekly 707 I was pleasantly surprised by a release from Chemins from Finland. One untitled piece of twenty minutes, and on their second release they continue that: another untitled twenty minute piece. Drums seem to have a more loose percussive role here, but otherwise it continues the lines set forward as before. Improvisation for a rock group line up playing some mood induced music, incorporating field recordings. The piece here is in two parts (cut as one track). The first is soft and moody, with repeating loops of sound, while the second works its way up to some noisy climax, before dying out. A great piece I think, and again: this should be picked up by one of the many CDR labels, as this deserves more attention. (Frans de Waard, Vital Weekly 716)

Speaking of restraint, bend an ear to this item from Finland, an odd little CDR by Chemins simply titled cdr#2. One-and-twenty minutes of pleasant electronic droning, pulsing, and murmuring shalt be thy portion should ye elect to purchase this item directly from the group’s website. This untitled statement arrives in a decorative semi-abstract cover which may represent tyres hanging from lightbulbs near a wine-rack, or something. (Ed Pinsent, The Sound Projector, 3.2.2010)

One of the highlights of the last issue of WWR was the debut album from Chemins who have now followed that release with another single track dose of their low-key, melancholy expressionist sound-painting. CDR#2 embraces the mores of electronica, ambient and noise music to create a stunningly mature composition that has found itself looping around my seedee player for the last fortnight. (Ian Holloway, Wonderful Wooden Reasons 04/2010)

Comme promis il y a un mois, nous revenons sur le cas Chemins, cette formation finlandaise qui sortait son premier CD-R en novembre et qui nous propose ici une suite dans une même lignée : autoproduction, sobrement intitulé cdr #2 et composé d’une seule piste de 21mn.

On retrouve dans un premier temps la tonalité du cdr #1, avec des drones et frétillements organiques, une douceur ambiante habillée de petits bruitages qui sont certainement issus du traitement de field recordings, éléments mis en boucles comme ces réguliers piaillements que l’on croirait captés dans une basse-cour.
Et puis le groupe s’oriente vers une certaine épure en éliminant tous les bruitages pour laisser la place à une mélodie d’orgue, claire, flottante et répétitive, faisant légèrement pencher cette pièce vers un certain krautrock. Ce nouvel EP semble également moins faire appel à l’improvisation que le premier volet, les quelques percussions que l’on entend ici au second plan, si elles sont probablement le fruit d’une session live, sont largement traitées par l’informatique ensuite.
On a enfin la nette impression d’écouter 3 parties bien distinctes, avec baisse du niveau sonore entre chacune et changement de registre. Ainsi on aborde la dernière section, la plus intrigante, inquiétante même avec ses frottements métalliques graves et ses cloches répétitives. Des frottements de cordes montent progressivement, emmenant avec eux des souffles épais. Tout s’emmêlent alors, une superbe mélodie prend forme, tout autant composée par les cloches et les guitares, tandis que le bruit du souffle se fait puissant, déchirant, venant sublimer l’ensemble.
On n’en sait toujours pas plus sur Chemins, mais avec ce cdr #2 ces finlandais ne font que confirmer le bien que l’on pensait d’eux. On n’a d’ailleurs pas fini de parler d’eux. À suivre! (Fabrice Allard, EtherREAL, 12.6.2010)

This good second release by Helsinki, Finland-group Chemins is made up of a single 21-minute long piece that evolves in a subtle, winding direction from layered, droning sounds and airy, clicking percussion, both evoking mental images of nature, and from there progresses into cold, echoing melodies that are hung around single organ notes and their overtones; the musical structure of the piece is then led into a large, distorted conclusion. There is a lot within this brief CDr’s mode of composition for the listener to take in and a lot of conceptual room to bring their own ideas and memories to bear on the work; the group is especially skilled at developing and parsing out a theme. (Jordan Anderson, Foxy Digitalis 22.11.2010)

cdr #1 (2009) cd-r

cdr #1 (2009)
("let's let the grass grow over it")
1 track, 23 minutes
released november 2009



Quite some music from Finland this week (Uton, Kutomo), but also Chemins, who have no friends on myspace (which is great I think) and also no information. The CDR, simply titled 'CDR #1' has one piece that lasts twenty-three minutes and thirty seconds. So perhaps its a band then... I hear drums and a bunch drones played on guitar, maybe a bass, maybe field recordings. What they do sounds very interesting. A concentrated form of playing, perhaps (partly) improvised and sometimes remind me of 3/4Hadbeeneliminated. The music is slow and peaceful and unfolds in a majestic manner, without being over the top. A great piece, perhaps a few minutes too long. Its a pity they choose to release it themselves and it may stay in relative obscurity. Maybe they could have better find a second piece and release it on some of the more interesting CDR labels around. This music certainly deserves it. (Frans de Waard, Vital Weekly 707)

A single 24 minute track entitled 'Let's let the grass grow over it' makes up this nice little release from Finnish outfit Chemins. It's a well constructed excursion through your third eye with enough variation to keep the journey fresh and comparatively lively throughout. There are moments that don't work so well, the Faust-like drum-line that makes it's presence known periodically during the later half of the album sometimes feels a little superfluous against the delicate coils of drone and rarely stays long enough to cement it's role in the proceedings. That said though I've very much enjoyed this album and have had it on repeat for much of the last 2 days. Definitely worth checking out. (Ian Holloway, Wonderful Wooden Reasons 02/2010)

Discrete music, in the form of environmental sound would be familiar to a good deal of readers and this first offering by Chemins is well within the mould. The pointer to specific structure or attachment to modal structural forms is nothing new and many a group’s sound has been wrought from this template. Indeed it is familiar to anyone whose ear has been dipped into a minimalist sonic world. But the dye is fairly cast: build a sonic texture of discrete parts in an electro/acoustic manner incorporating organic sound and introduce flourishes or displays of instrumental play to add drama/colour/narrative to the piece. The sound recording on display is high end and the sonic manipulation is of a high standard displaying keen knowledge of granular synthesis and attainment of mastery over complex contemporary sonic software/hardware.
The general question in mind of why works such as CDR#1 remain well within a background focus for the tendency not to provide concrete focal ideas for a wider audience to grasp. It holds within it the very quandary of experimental music, how does one travel to the very edge of sound and then simultaneously seek to convey this as widely as possible without blunting the edge. Chemins are very much on a journey towards the edge in their own manner and CDR#1 is a introductory offering which acts as much as a revision lesson in sound as it does as a pointer to their future unwritten maps. (Innerversitysound / Cyclic Defrost, 1.3.2010)

Un certain mystère entoure ce EP puisque l’on ne sait rien des artistes qui sont derrière ce projet, si ce n’est leur origine finlandaise d’après une adresse postale à Helsinki. On devine qu’il s’agit d’un groupe d’après l’adresse de leur blog, mais impossible de savoir combien ils sont... Pour couronner le tout, ce premier EP initiant certainement une longue série (déjà 3 sorties en 6 mois) est édité par le groupe lui-même, ce qui empêche toute affiliation immédiate avec un label ou d’autres artistes.
Ce premier volet sobrement intitulé cdr #1 contient une seule piste de 23mn qui nous semble d’abord faire part à l’improvisation si l’on se fie aux percussions acoustiques, flottantes mais régulières, très vites habillées d’un drone doux, enveloppant, et de ponctuations concrètes. Le sentiment que dégage cette musique est ambigu avec une impression de douceur générale sur fond de friche industrielle, cette composante prenant parfois le devant alors que les nappes cessent et que des bruitages acoustiques et mécaniques prennent le dessus, un peu comme si le vent faisait tourner un mobile.
L’alternance se fait naturellement au fur et à mesure que les différentes strates (nappes, drone, bruitages concrets, field recordings) apparaissent puis s’effacent, passant alors par une étapes plus organique, animale, avec des frétillements évoquant des bruitages d’insectes avant de laisser une dernière fois la place aux percussions improvisées et drones de guitare. Let’s let the grass grow over it, titre de l’unique morceau, forme donc une boucle dans laquelle la nature s’invite et s’installe au milieu des instruments.

Mystérieux et envoûtant, cette première sortie de Chemins laisse présager de belles surprises à venir. On reviendra sur ce projet dans quelques semaines avec le cdr #2. Par ailleurs, s’agissant de CDR, le groupe annonce qu’il s’agit d’une édition illimitée, une façon de se démarquer quand la norme semble être devenue l’édition limitée.
(Fabrice Allard, EtherREAL, 2.5.2010)