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)