The new Chvad SB E.P. Outside the Shadow of an Aliquot Tree is now available on Silber Records! As a part of Silber’s 5 in 5 series… this E.P. is 5 songs in 5 minutes and it’s only $1.00 or free to stream! In contrast to 2014’s Cricket’s Were the Compass’ synthesizer dominated landscapes, Outside the Shadow of an Aliquot Tree is entirely composed of guitar passages varying from soothing & meditative to menacing & unnerving.
Grab it or listen to it HERE: http://www.silbermedia.com/chvad-sb/Outside-the-Shadow.shtml
Warper Party site:
8:00 – More Dani
8:30 – Montauk’s Infinity
9:10 – Unigen
9:40 – Srikalogy
10:10 – Dan Freeman (CØm1x) & Øh1ØM1ke
10:50 – Pure Physicality
11:30 – ASStronauts
12:10 – rhinoid
12:40 – PISS OFF!
8:00 – Tracy
8:30 – Kristina Supergenius
9:00 – Friendly Knowledge
9:30 – Nukage
10:15 – 81Neutronz
11:00 – Infinite Kitten
11:40 – Denada
12:10 – Chvad SB
12:40 – Creative Common
8:00 – Tracy
9:00 – Permian Strata
10:30 – VJ DoctorMojo
“Chvad SB is an enigmatic figure, even though he’s been musically active for over twenty years. During this time he has worked with such groups as Controlled Bleeding, Things Outside The Skin and Tongue Muzzle among others, and has also dabbled in film music.”[Our review of “Crickets Were the Compass”]
How would you summarize this past year on an artistic and personal level?
Personally and artistically? Both stable. The past few years have been pretty stable actually and I can’t state enough how much I love that. I have an impossibly difficult time creating when my life is off balance. I can draw no separation between my personal life and creative life. If one is a disaster, so is the other. I had a few years of turmoil not too long ago and only now do I feel like I’m genuinely prepared to embrace my artistic ambitions fully again. I’ve been working on material consistently but in some cases… it seemed like I was only hanging by a thread.
Which album have you listened to most often this year (not necessarily released in 2014)?
This year I think the most listened to album has been the slicnaton record “autoscopy”
What was the best gig you’ve attended?
I’ve seen a lot of shows this year and for sure The Damned/TSOL show I went to for Halloween was the absolute best. Lots of fun. Best show ever? Probably that time way back when my brother and some friends and I drove an 18 hour round trip in one day to see Godflesh play back in 96 I think.
What was the best non-music related cultural experience you’ve had?
This past year I began spending time at a new dojo, meeting and training with new people and ideas. That has been fantastic for me. I began training 28 years ago and the people and environments I get exposed to through this have been massively influential to me.
Was there an event within this past year that has significantly influenced your philosophy and outlook on life, or your perception of the world around you? For instance some specific place you visited, people you met and so on?
I think this year for me was one spent trying to recognize the value of past experiences, the value of things I’ve learned over time and applying them. I’ve been fortunate enough to meet some pretty fantastic people in my life and I’ve not always been open enough to let some of their words sink in. This past year I guess I’ve had the piece of mind to let some of those things matter more. So no big shifts or revelations. Just some settling really.
What was your greatest disappointment in 2014?
In my life, none. I’m pretty happy with 2014. There’s always a ton of negative stuff happening in the world at large and it isn’t that any of that escapes me but I try to not let it consume me. I have a great girlfriend, a great family, a great cat, great friends and my work has been mostly received well. No complaints here.
Your plans, hopes and expectations for 2015?
I have a back-log of material in various stages of completion I’d like to see get out of the door. I’m in early stages of possibly creating a new live band to focus on heavier ideas again. I’ve been wanting to do that for the past few years but haven’t had the emotional wherewithal to deal with the outrageous amount of crap that goes along with that. I think I have enough patience in reserve to engage with that stuff again though so I’ve been talking with old and new collaborators about getting that off the ground.
Interview by; Przemyslaw Murzyn
Interview originally published here:
The new Chvad SB EP “Outside the Shadow on an Aliquot Tree” has been completed and will be available soon from Silber Records! Here’s a sneak preview of the cover art by Brian A Bernhard!
The cover art of Crickets Were The Compass depicts beautifully in ink and watercolour a grainy, post-apocalyptic landscape strewn with grim, colourless debris. A solitary dog stands in the foreground, dolefully glancing about; after an unspecified disaster, life has inevitably found a way. As much is reinforced by brief elaborations upon each of the tracks’ titles, such as ‘It Haunts Her’ (“She was scared. The storm outside hammered the walls and lit up the sky. We found solace in sound.”) and ‘Crickets were the Compass and the World Goes ‘Round’ (“Directionless I listened for something to guide me. The crickets called from all directions at once. I stood still.”). Combined with the album’s images and compositions, these brief passages give the impression of survivors or travelers in desolate and unwelcoming places, faced with the numbing challenges of life in the wake of massive and abrupt change.
The music itself contributes to this setting in various layered articulations of thick, distorted drones, live instrumentation and gritty textures. The chief (but by no means sole) source of each of these appears to be the guitar. Alongside producing low-end grimness, it also often takes on a cleaner role, with lonesome, aimless picking delaying into the distance on several of the pieces. Analogue synthesizers and unidentifiable samples provide additional texture. A running evocation, sometimes impersonated and sometimes probably directly sampled, is that of radio, now vacant of living broadcasters and transmitting only the stiff indifference of empty frequencies; the sound of the absence of others. As it crawls along, the record’s style is definitely consistent and strongly focused on representing its themes. Despite this, each piece has something of its own characteristic arrangement. ‘It Haunts Her’ opens the album with a buzzing, slow warble rather resembling a siren – drearily and dutifully continuing to sound out long after the dust has settled. ‘People Keep Asking And I Say You’re Well’ begins with radio-like feedback manipulations, gradually accompanied by a slow, shapeless synth motif and introverted guitar twangs. ‘There Isn’t A Day That Goes By’ stands out particularly, portraying a dance of looped quavering feedback and undulations of slow-attack lead noodles. The whole thing rolls about in a murky mid range, but retains a lighter tone than the other pieces. “But there are moments”, reads its subtitle.
Besides periods such as this, the relentless and discomforting gloom of it all makes for quite a dreary listen. Chvad SB manages well to soundtrack a forlorn, speculative narrative of life after disaster that recalls literature such as McCarthy’s The Road. The album’s limited source material and resulting sameness of texture hammers home a sense of entrenched desolation and destitution, unlikely any time soon to change significantly. The world painted has lost much of its colour and, in a slightly disconcerting way, has entered its own kind of relaxed state. There is, of course, a suggestion of allegory. “[Of] coming to terms with fond memories”, as the press release puts it, “& letting them go.”
Review by; Edward Trethowan
Review originally published here:
Chvad SB knows what it means to be harsh. On Crickets Were The Compass Chvad SB makes sure to keep things distorted. Everything filters through a similar sound of slow collapse like at any moment true hell could be potentially unleashed. Thanks to Chvad SB’s idea of restraint this never quite happens. Instead the pieces tend to hover allowing for external events to move the pieces forward. Beautiful in their gradual decay the songs are incredibly grimy and feel remarkably agile.
“It Haunts Her” opens the collection up with great dread. Buzzing continues for the duration of the song as lonely guitar plucks haunt the empty space. Things get considerably more abstract on “A Hair Before Sundown” which plays with the harsh noise accompanied by what sounds akin to a children’s toy. Echoing around the space the toy gives off a sense of playfulness in the harsh foreboding realm. Minimalism defines “The Dust Cloud Permeates” which appears to fall into an expansive droning groove before it completely loses itself. Retro sounds come into play in the anxiety-ridden piece “People Keep Asking And I Say You’re Well”. Little pings help give off the sense of something truly unsettling. Noises here tend to be a bit harsher than elsewhere on the album.
Towards the end Chvad SB goes towards nicer territory. “There Isn’t a Day That Goes By” is a fairly bouncy happy song that feels oddly cheerful. For the finale Chvad SB continues with the lighter touch allowing the digital decay to melt away revealing a keen ear for melody. “Crickets Were The Compass” is a disturbed oftentimes deranged album in the best way possible.
Review by: Beach Sloth
Review originally published here:
En seis canciones Chvad SB establece un tono de mal humor lleno de vibraciones misteriosas que en su mayoría son inquietantes y a veces, melódicas. Los paisajes sonoros cuentan una historia. Sobre todo un sutil zumbido establece el tono, mientras que los sonidos posteriores parecen como el de las películas de terror. Creando una corriente Drone, con capas y capas ambientales mientras una melodía de guitarra sutil se repite. Las texturas están movidas lentamente a otros territorios haciendo de este álbum un descubrimiento. No es de extrañar que Chvad SB hagan música experimental desde principios de los años noventa. Este álbum es su primer álbum propiamente publicado bajo su propio nombre. Abstractos de la música, es la base de este grupo y les convierte en un monstruo que no se puede ocultar. Canciones que caminan por el camino del ruido, con una sutil constancia, cargadas de sintetizadores oscuros que las llevan a temas de más de diez minutos. Hay un montón de artistas en esta área musical, Chvad SB es uno de esos grupos de gente, con ideas peculiares, personales e irreverentes, que quizás se ganen tu oído, o tu rechazo directo.
Review by; Juan Pedro Somera Pérez
Review originally published here:
Translation via BabelXL:
Six songs Chvad SB sets a tone in a bad mood full of mysterious vibrations that are most disturbing and at times melodic. Soundscapes tell a story. Above all a subtle zoom sets the tone, while the subsequent sounds seem to like horror movies. Creating a current Drone, with environmental layers while a guitar melody subtle repeats. The textures are slowly moved to other territories making this album a discovery. It is not surprising to Chvad SB make experimental music since the beginning of the 1990s. This album is his first album itself published under his own name.
Abstract music, it is the core of this group and converts them into a monster that cannot be hid. Songs that walk along the way of noise, with a subtle statement, full of dark synthesizers that lead them to topics for more than ten minutes.
There are a lot of artists in this musical area, Chvad SB is one of those groups of people, with personal and irreverent, quirky ideas that perhaps earn your ear, or your direct rejection.
This was a dance piece choreographed by Brenna Crowley and performed at the “Witching Hour Boo-tique: 2014: Phobias: An Exploration of Fear” on November 1st and 2nd, 2014.
Dancers: Brenna Crowley, Giselle, Heather Bondra, Kaitlin Hines, Lami’ah, Calixta Starr, Dana Rose De’Francesco and Danielle Hutton.
I make a brief cameo as a crazy person.
Musiker und Label schätzen sich. Keine Selbstverständlichkeit. Das Menschliche, so der Info-Text weiter, stehe in seiner Musik genauso im Vordergrund wie das Akustische. Und dann: Die Veröffentlichung beinhalte ein Testament des Verlusts und beschäftige sich mit lieb gewonnenen Erinnerungen und wie diese loszulassen seien.
Ich verstehe nicht, warum ein Mensch das als handelnde Person überhaupt möchte, aber bewerte das Album dahingehend, dass es ein tief-trauriges Werk ist, beinahe existenzialistisch. Dennoch: das Menschliche wird hier nicht abgebildet.
Keiner, den ich bislang kennen gelernt habe, will schöne Erinnerungen aktiv verlieren!
Review by Henrik Beeke
Review originally published in Ox Fanzine #115 and here:
“Uses for Insects and Magnetic Fields”
Silber Media, 2014
Review by Kent Manthie
Out now, on the Silber Media label, run by Brian Silber, Chvad SB’s newest disc is Crickets Were the Compass, the third album he’s put out under his own moniker, as opposed to the various projects with which he’s been involved since back in 1991. Various projects he’s done in the last 23 years include working with Things Outside the Skin, Tongue Muzzle, The Qualia as well as Controlled Bleeding, of which he was a “full-fledged member”.
Now, for the past several years, Chvad SB has been on his own, making his own albums, allowing him the freedom to do whatever he wants, take what chances he wants, set down the kind of creatively inspired stuff, with no one else around to veto his ideas and/or try to fit his ideas and contributions into a group effort.
This latest album, Crickets Were the Compass is sure to appeal to the ambient/drone/noise aficionado in you. The album is roughly 54 minutes, with six songs altogether. You’ve got a couple shorter ones, that clock in at around 4 ½ minutes, 6+ minutes and 7 minutes. But the longer ones, such as “The Dust Cloud Permeates”, comes in at 14:25, “People Keep Asking and I Say You’re Well”, at 9:30 as well as the title track, which ends the album, at 12:21.
It doesn’t much matter how long the individual songs are, since there really is a seamless, unfragmented pattern to Crickets… The album starts out with the bleak, dark “It Haunts Her”, a fitting title to a deep, ambient and, yes, haunting aura about it. “It Haunts Her” brings up memories of Brian Eno’s ambient masterpieces. Not as beautiful and ethereal as the Ambient set of albums Eno did: Music for Airports, Music for Films, etc. but there’s something similar to one of his early ambient albums, 1975’s Discreet Music, which really set the tone as a prototype to today’s long, instrumental drone works. One of my personal Brian Eno projects was one of the collaborations he did with King Crimson main man, Robert Fripp, No Pussyfooting, which is very moody, subdued and filled with “drone”, but, unlike the album at hand, Chvad SB’s Crickets Were the Compass, the difference that No Pussyfooting had was the eerie guitar work that Fripp laid over Eno’s synthesizer souffle. On Crickets…one does hear some guitar in the background here and there, but it is in more of a harmony, background way, it doesn’t have the closeness of those two amazing artists, Fripp & Eno. On the two tracks that make up No Pussyfooting, “The Heavenly Music Corporation” and “The Swastika Girls”, which take up a side each, on the LP version (on the re-issued CD version, to fill up the time that is available, they added some interesting things: there were the original two tracks as well as the same two tracks played backwards, which doesn’t sound all garbled and unlistenable, it retains that same eerie quality and that creepy, high-pitched guitar still resonates perfectly). Continue reading Independent Review – Chvad SB “Crickets Were the Compass” (2014)
ENG: I’m constantly moved by the cover for “Crickets Were The Compass”. A cartoon of a dog staring wistfully into the distance, waiting for his master, who’ll probably never come – there is something both touching and depressing in this picture. The background is kept in gray tones presenting an apocalyptic scenery, and this poor little guy in front of everything – for me it definitely makes more of an impression than the Photoshop wastelands adorning so many industrial or dark ambient releases, that are as eye-catching as they are trite. And this ball, which no one will use to play with the dog. Yes, I feel some wetness in my eyes. Continue reading Santa Sangre – Chvad SB “Crickets Were the Compass” (2014)
Genre/Influences: Dark-ambient, apocalyptic soundscape.
Content: If Chvad SB doesn’t directly ring a bell; some bands this American artist has been involved in have become quite renowned and established bands. Controlled Bleeding even belongs to the so-called pioneers and references in industrial/experimental music, but Chvad SB got also involved in The Qualia (signed on WTII Records), Tongue Muzzle ao. Chvad SB is a solo-project that has released 2 previous albums.
The dark-ambient and soundscape influences running through the work are quite noticeable elements, which seem to say something about the sources of inspiration. Chvad SB affirms to be influenced by famous names like Lustmord, Coil, The Residents or yet Controlled Bleeding. I can’t say that one of these bands is coming through on this work, but as I already mentioned, there’s a solid dark-ambient input. We’re moving throughout dark, nihilistic spheres, which in a way are quite symbolic for the desperate and cartoon-like cover featuring a desolate landscape filled with ruins, death trees and a lost dog in the middle of this surreal universe.
A dark humming ambiance welcomes the listener to join in for an apocalyptic ride. The tracks remain obscure and accomplished by some spooky effects. A few subtle drones can be heard now and then while other experiments with guitar can be noticed as well. Chvad SB is using a wide arsenal of sounds moving from modular synths to found objects, hand-built instruments, guitar and even the voice. The result is not exactly into ‘classical’ ambient music rather than an abstract approach mixing ambient and experimental music. It might explain the inspiration coming from a band like The Residents although I can’t speak about emulation.
“Crickets Were The Compass” sounds original and creative. Noise waves have been mixed with discrete and subtle bleeps while there also is a kind of cinematographic inspiration.
That’s not of a coincidence as Chvad SB already worked on multiple soundtracks for films.
Conclusion: I like this different dark-ambient approach, which sounds as an interesting alternative to more classical dark-ambient formations. I can only recommend this album for all lovers in the genre.
Best songs: “People Keep Asking And I Say You’re Well”, “It Haunts Her”, “The Dust Cloud Permeates”, “Crickets Were The compass And The World Goes ‘Round”.
Band: www.chvad.com / www.facebook.com/chvadsb
Label: www.silbermedia.com / www.facebook.com/silbermedia
Review originally published here:
Ils l’ont fait, oui Charles toi qui frappait du poing contre le sable face à une statue de la liberté enfoncée dans le sable, la mer commençant son long office de destruction par l’érosion. La bombe a donné à l’homme ce qu’il voulait, un souffle nouveau, sauf que le souffle a le bruit sourd d’un drone lorgnant tel un requin avide de sang sur une proie qui semble encore croire à la doléance surprise du squale en manque de viande.
Tout est dévasté, un chien est parvenu à connaître l’après, protégé qu’il a été par la probable recherche d’une balle dans une souterrain. Il est remonté avec, autour de lui la désolation, le bruit des radiations se mélangeant à ceux du vent qui souffle de façon sourde et étouffé et à ceux plus énigmatiques d’une guitare errant comme un fantôme au milieu des restes d’une ville sans plus aucune apparence ou signe de vie humaine.
Le souffle lourd du disque imagine une apocalypse terrible, une agonie presque étouffée. Eprouvante avancée vers un néant déjà présent, photographie sonore d’une vide vers lequel nous semblons tous nous diriger. La fin du monde Chvad SB ne la souhaite pas, et pour que nous prenions conscience de sa proximité, il nous la dessine comme un chant de sirène morbide. Ils l’ont fait.
Review by Gérald de Oliveira
Review originally published here:
via Google Translate:
They did, yes you who Charles struck his fist against the sand facing a Statue of Liberty buried in the sand, the sea begins his long office destruction by erosion. The bomb gave the man what he wanted, a new life, except that the breath has the thud of a drone eyeing such a greedy shark blood on prey that still seems to think the surprise of the shark complaint short of meat.
Everything is destroyed, a dog came to know after, he was protected by the likely searching for a ball in a cave. He got back with all around him desolation, noise radiation mixing with those of the wind blowing so dull and muffled and those most enigmatic of a guitar like a ghost wandering amid the remains of a city without no more appearance or sign of human life.
The heavy breath disk imagine a terrible Apocalypse, an agony almost choked. Challenging step towards an already present nothingness, photography sound of a vacuum to which we all seem to lead us. The end of the world Chvad SB does not want, and that we become aware of its proximity, we draw it as a siren song morbid. They did.
Verwijmeren debuteert (www.softcorridor.net) met een plaat die nauw verwant klinkt met zijn familienaam. Levend en ademend in Delft en afgestudeerd fysicus reist hij reeds jarenlang met het openbaar vervoer, meestal voor lange afstanden en dus voor een langere tijdsduur. Dan kijkt een mens door het raam en gaat aan het nadenken, aan het mijmeren en filosoferen. Het vormt de basis voor ‘s mans muziek. De resulterende negen stukken op deze eersteling zijn ambient waarin toch iets gebeurt. Het is een tocht naar verstilling, met hier en daar een blik van verwondering. Het is muziek om naar te luisteren en weg te dromen, starend naar een koe, een regenbui, een wei vol maïs of een vervallen stal, zonder een moment te vervelen. Genietend van het kleine, het landelijke, het alledaagse. Honderd exemplaren zijn er gemaakt, met de cd die een vinyllook meekreeg. Voor toen euro kan er eentje van u zijn. Taiga Remains is het project van Alex Cobb, dat met ‘Works For Cassette’ (vinyl of digitaal, www.helenscarsdale.com) tot een hypnotiserend einde komt. Niet dat Cobb er helemaal mee ophoudt. Hij heeft gewoon besloten om onder zijn eigen naam verder te werken. Zo kan hij een andere insteek proberen om zijn drones vorm te geven. Hier klinken die lekker gruizig, een beetje verontrustend en storend. Het kabbelende is niet echt aan Cobb besteed, of toch, want naar het einde toe van de vijf stukken tellende plaat bolt hij uit, laat hij het los, droomt en kabbelt het tot het project, definitief, in slaap sukkelt. Slaapopwekkende of slaapverwekkende drones, we kunnen het schrijven die onze cd-verdeler op een post-it schreef, niet goed lezen. Zelf hebben we er echter geen last van. De trage en ingetogen drones wekken een gemoedelijke sfeer op waar we wel van kunnen genieten als de kinderen eindelijk besluiten om even rustig aan te doen. Misschien komt het wel door de sfeervolle stukken die Chvad SB ons voorschotelt. De man is actief sinds 1991, runt Facility Records en werkte onder meer met Tongue Muzzle, The Qualia en recent met Controlled Bleeding. Deels geïmproviseerd, deels op voorhand uitgewerkt klinkt ‘Crickets Were The Compass’ vooral als een mengeling van een soundtrack en een soundscape. Hier en daar licht dissonant of melodieus, kabbelt de plaat rustig verder en draait de aarde traag maar zeker zijn rondjes, zoals het afsluitende titelnummer ook zelf aangeeft. Walt Thisney Mondo Cosmico sluit onze trip af, en doet dat op kosmische wijze. Uit Lissabon, Portugal zetten ze een drone neer waarin lijkt dat heel wat met een harmonium werd geknoeid, op een buitenaards aandoende zondagmiddag. De naam van het project wijst al op een dosis absurditeit en dat zit ook een beetje in de muziek verweven. Tangerine Dream met een hoek af, muziek voor een animatiefilm waarin alles net niet klopt. It’s A Mad World, al doen Tears For Fears hier absoluut niet ter zake.
Review by Patrick Bruneel.
Review originally published here:
via Google Translate:
Verwijmeren debuts (www.softcorridor.net) with a record that sounds closely associated with his name. Living and breathing in Delft and graduated physicist, he travels many years by public transport, usually for long distances and so for a longer duration. Then a man looks through the window and is thinking, musing and philosophizing. It forms the basis for the man’s music. The resulting nine pieces on this first are ambient in which it happens. It is a journey to stillness, with here and there a look of wonder. It’s music to listen and dream away, staring at a cow, a rainstorm, a meadow full of corn or a dilapidated barn without a dull moment. Enjoying the small, rural, everyday. Hundred copies were made, with the CD that was given a vinyl look. For when one euro can be yours. Taiga Remains is the project of Alex Cobb, that “Works For Cassette” (vinyl or digital www.helenscarsdale.com) comes to an end hypnotic. Not that Cobb that it ceases altogether. He just decided to continue working. Under his own name He may have a different approach to try to shape. Drones Here that sound nice gritty, a bit disturbing and distracting. The murmur is not really devoted to Cobb, or anyway, because towards the end of the five pieces of constituent record he bolt out, he let it go, dreams, and it ripples to the project, final, struggling to sleep. Exciting sleep or sleep-inducing drones, we can not read the writing who wrote our CD distributor on a post-it, good. Itself however, we have no problems. The slow and subdued drones generate a friendly atmosphere where we have to enjoy it when the kids finally decide to just take it easy. Maybe it’s because of the atmospheric pieces that Chvad SB presents to us. The man has been active since 1991, runs Facility Records and worked with Tongue Muzzle, The Qualia and recently with Controlled Bleeding. Partly improvised, partly worked out in advance sounds ‘Crickets Were The Compass’ especially as a mix of a soundtrack and a soundscape. Here and there, slightly dissonant or melodic, lapping plate calmly and turns the earth slowly but surely making its rounds, as the closing title track itself states. Walt Thisney Mondo Cosmico close our trip off, and does so in cosmic way. From Lisbon, Portugal they put down a drone which seems that a lot has been tampered with in an alien-like Sunday afternoon. With a harmonium The name of the project already points to a dose of absurdity and that too in a bit of music interwoven. Tangerine Dream with a corner off, music for an animated film in which everything is just not true. It’s A Mad World, Tears For Fears are already doing here is absolutely irrelevant.
The new trailer for the Joe Dante produced horror flick “DARK” just dropped over at Horror-Movies.ca! Check it out at the link below:
Ladies and gents! YOU CAN TUNE IN AND LISTEN! The Electro-Music Fest 2014 is underway so tune in and listen! I’ll be performing live tomorrow (Sunday Sept. 7th) at 10:00 PM but check out all the great stuff happening now!
TUNE IN HERE:
Event calendar and tickets here:
Up to this point in time Chvad SB is probably best known as a former member of the bands Things Outside The Skin, Tongue Muzzle, The Qualia, and Controlled Bleeding (he also runs the record label Facility). Crickets Were The Compass is the third album released under his own name. Chvad has had ties to the Silber label as far back as the early 1990s but this is the first time the two have officially begun working together. Co-released by both labels, Crickets is a wonderfully inventive collection of experimental compositions that comes across sounding like abstract mood pieces. These tracks are peculiar and mostly brooding in nature…utilizing sounds from a variety of sources including synthesizers, found objects, hand-built instruments, guitars, and voice. This release bodes well for future releases from these two well-known underground labels. The music is strange and unorthodox…and yet still completely effective and listenable. Six perplexing cuts including “It Haunts Her,” “People Keep Asking And I Say You’re Well,” and “Crickets Were The Compass And The World Goes ‘Round.” Truly creative stuff. Top pick.
Review by; LMNOP
Review originally published here:
Holy living God, this is probably the worst album cover we’ve ever seen. So bad, in fact, it’s the sole reason this album didn’t get a perfect score. Now, hey, hey now, wait up, we love the music, but it deserved something better! Something with this much value musically needs a proper visual representation. In all the horrid things we’ve seen grace cover after cover, this is easily the most horrid in the past year, including 2013. Until you listen to it you won’t even sure what in the hell it has to do with anything. And we’ve looked everywhere. The press release states the album is “about loss” but says nothing about dat dog with the bouncy ball. Dang thing is right there, blown-up even to massive proportions, on the CD itself. It’s possible a reference to Clifford Simak’s legendary City, but it could be any old reference to a war, apocalypse, what have you, where only the dogs survive. With their collars and decent meals apparently. Really, we could go on about this dog cover for ages. But since the damn album is so good let’s stop with the laughter and snide remarks and talk about Chvad SB because, believe it or not, this doge hides under his skin some awesome experimentation.
This one came from a label I’m pretty sure we’ve never encountered before, Silber Records. Unlike many submissions we get, Silber knows the stuff. One simple sheet explaining the artist and Crickets Were the Compass, the disc itself, nicely packed, and that’s it. That’s what you need to do, people. Nothing is more irritating than not including info about your release, leaving us to scour the internet for anything. Some of this stuff is so obscure there’s nothing ever to be found, and if we make a mistake because of this fact it makes us look like idiots, and we don’t like that. Chvad SB has been around quite awhile, since 1991 in fact, and has been a hidden presence in experimental music with several labels and bands, including Controlled Bleeding, and he even has some cred via soundtrack work in the 2012 film Gut. Suffice to say, guy comes with a hefty resume, and that’s typically a good thing. Usually when we start like that, or the above, you think to yourself “well, here’s another blah release.” Not this time, this time we’re literal.
Crickets Were the Compass is a splendid work in the abstract. Avoiding that damn cover, the musical presence of this is superb, superbly dark, that is. One can imagine that the crickets of the title chattering in a dark landscape where human presence has come and gone. A lovely image. Chvad SB makes usage of sparsity, a rare skill. His layering is more delicate, at least in this particular release, relying primarily on misty backdrops in which the listener will find a variety of sounds to investigate, with a mood almost akin to science-fiction dominating its general sound. Imagine, if you will, an ancient race from the cosmos coming down to investigate the dead remains of what we once were, and that provides yet another visual that represents what this album sounds like. Track six, “There Isn’t a Day that Goes By”, is a perfect embodiment of this feeling. And that title track. Oh yes….oh my…my my my sir, excellent job. There probably hasn’t been a better ender in the history of Deaf Sparrow reviews. And it sounds exactly as we anticipated. So, in spite of how immature the art style looks with that stinking dog, the actual justification for it is in the music itself, which is powerful enough to cause something so bland to carry more meaning that it does on the surface. Highly recommended experimental drone right here.
Written by Stanley Stepanic
Originally published here:
Auf dem Cover steht ein naiv gemalter Hund in zerbombter Stadtlandschaft. Vor ihm liegt ein Ball. Über die Schulter sucht der Hund womöglich den Blickkontakt
zu seinem Menschlein, um ihm den Ball zu bringen – wobei dort wohl kein Menschchen mehr ist. So wenig bedrohlich die Szene wirkt, so wenig scheint der dunkle Ambient-Sound wirklich beunruhigend.
Author: Andreas Schnell
Originally published in Trust #167
via Google Translate:
On the cover is a naively painted dog in bombed-out cityscape. Before him is a ball. Looking over the shoulder of the dog might eye contact
to his little man to get him the ball – where there is probably no more Menschchen. So little threatening the scene is so little seems to be the dark ambient sound really disturbing.
Het hoesje van dit album toont een tekening van een troosteloos landschap met kapotte huizen, dode bomen en een hoop afval en op de voorgrond een eenzaam en wat triest kijkende hondje. Het heeft iets lieflijk en onheilspellend tegelijk. De muziek klinkt vooral onheilspellend en desolaat en even post-apocalyptisch als het landschap op de hoes. De minimaal repetitieve drone ambient kabbelt langzaam voorbij in zes composities in lengte variërend van 4,5 tot 14 minuten.
Chvad SB maakt al muziek sinds 1991 met projecten als Things Outside The Skin, Tongue Muzzle, The Qualia en – last but not least – als medelid van Controlled Bleeding. Invloeden haalt hij naar eigen zeggen onder meer bij Lustmord, Coil, Swans, Jean-Michel Jarre en The Residents. Bij het beluisteren van het album “Crickets Were The Compass” – zijn derde album onder de eigen naam voor zover we kunnen nagaan – komen naar mijn bescheiden mening de invloeden van Lustmord het meest tot uiting. Chvad SB maakt voor zijn soundscapes gebruik van modulaire synthesizers, gevonden voorwerpen, zelf gemaakte instrumenten, gitaar en stem, zo leert ons zijn facebook pagina. Dit album is echter 100% instrumentaal.
Het zijn de iets kortere tracks die mij het meest aanspreken. Het dreigende “A Hair Before Sundown” bijvoorbeeld of de spookachtige, desolate monotonie van openingstrack “It Haunts Her” dat zijn titel meer dan waar maakt of het wat meer industrial getinte “There Isn’t A Day That Goes By”. Het album sluit af met het 12 minuten durende titelnummer, waarin inderdaad langdurig een krekelachtig geluid zit. “Crickets Were The Compass” (6 tracks, 54 minuten speelduur) is een sfeervol, post-apocalyptisch dark ambient plaatje voor de liefhebber.
Review originally published here:
Translation via Google Translate:
The cover of the album shows a drawing of a desolate landscape with broken homes, dead trees and a lot of waste, and in the foreground a solitary and some sad-looking dog. It has something sweet and ominous at the same time. The music sounds especially ominous and desolate and as post-apocalyptic as the landscape on the cover. The minimum repetitive drone ambient lapping slowly past six compositions ranging in length from 4.5 to 14 minutes.
Chvad SB has been making music since 1991, with projects like Things Outside The Skin, Tongue Muzzle, The Qualia and – last but not least – a fellow member of Controlled Bleeding. Influences he brings in his own words including at Lustmord, Coil, Swans, Jean-Michel Jarre and The Residents. When listening to the album “Crickets Were The Compass” – his third album under his own name as far as we can ascertain – come to my humble opinion the influences of Lustmord most evident. Chvad SB makes his soundscapes using modular synthesizers, found objects, homemade instruments, guitar and voice, tells us his facebook page. However, this album is 100% instrumental.
It is the slightly shorter tracks that appeal to me the most. The imminent “A Hair Before Sundown” for example, or the haunting, desolate monotony of opening track “It Haunts Her” that his title more than lives up to or more industrial tinged “There Is not A Day That Goes By.” The album closes with the 12 minute title track, which indeed allow a cricket-like sound is. “Crickets Were The Compass” (6 tracks, 54 minutes playing time) is an atmospheric, post-apocalyptic dark ambient plate for the enthusiast.