Apr 25, 2009

of (loren chasse)

Loren Chasse is responsible for a whole host of vital albums. He was a founding member of the Jewelled Antler label and has sparked so many great moments from the likes of Thuja, The Blithe Sons, Softwar, and of course his main solo guise, Of. For years this project has evolved into something of absolute magical grandeur. "Rocks Will Open" is the latest opus in Chasse's catalog. The music on this album is as organic as it gets. Each tone, each sound feels like it has been culled directly from the Earth's crust. Gentle drones arc toward the hazy sunlight, flickering like distant birds sailing out over the sea. Between the ghostly echoes rises a cacacphony of plucked strings dancing toward oblivion. Loren Chasse's vision is perfectly expressed on "Rocks Will Open." Limited to 500 copies. Special Edition limited to 100 copies and includes exclusive cassette, "Morphological Echo.

Mainstay of Thuja and the Jewelled Antler collective, Loren Chasse is the man behind this album, and it's a wonderful distillation of the San Franciscan's art. In part reminiscent of his work for the Naturestrip label, these compositions draw heavily from environmental sounds and recordings made in the field. Chasse's proven himself a skilled sound recordist on releases like The Air In The Sand, and Rocks WIll Open finds him incorporating these abilities into a more sculpted, more 'musical' context. 'Trail Of Hornfel' is a wonderfully illustrative piece of music, placing you in some imaginary sonic wonderland filled with creaking environmental texture, endless sustaining tones and chiming bells. Next up, 'Coal Seam' draws on quiet yet massively resonant filtered acousmatics, followed up by the more openly melodic 'The Paper Raft' which makes clear its use of instruments to carve out melodic routes. Dulcimer figures jump out from a cavern of muted reverberations and singing on 'Agate Cups' and 'Oolitic Feelings', but it's during the album's rich centrepiece 'Violets In The Mountain Have Broken The Rocks' that Chasse is at his best, unfurling dense, unpredictable soundscapes that are as grounded in mysterious concrete sound as they are in subtle, supplementary instrumentation. Highly recommended.

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