I Die You Die – Chvad SB “Crickets Were the Compass” (2014)

Often drone music gets tagged as being dispassionate or dissociative, or, if it is taken as communicating emotion, cosmic wonder or unremitting misanthropy are the handiest affective shadings. On Crickets Were The Compass, Chvad SB (of slap-happy industrial rock outfit Things Outside The Skin and work with Controlled Bleeding) brings a rare sense of frailty and personal loss to disquieting drone landscapes. Six lengthy compositions begin with sub-melodic swaths of low, reverberating pulse and hum, sometimes smooth, sometimes crackling with feedback, but by carefully augmenting these foundations with slight, fragile phrasings from guitars, vibes, and what even sounds like a prepared piano at one point, Chvad conjures intensely personal flashes of regret and loss (the titles don’t hurt in this regard, either: “There Isn’t A Day That Goes By”, “People Keep Asking And I Say You’re Well”). Although unimposing, the delicate nature of these simple but forlorn chimings can have a shattering effect, perhaps not unlike David Sylvian’s recent experiments with fragmented minimalism. Buy it.

Review by; I Die You Die

Review originally published here: http://www.idieyoudie.com/2014/05/observer-may-30th-2014/

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