15 October 2006

Chris Herbert - Mezzotint - Kranky - CD

When I first heard this album I was completely bowled over by its sheer beauty.

Chris Herbert has provided, for me, one of the albums of the year without any question simply because he’s managed to blend Electronica, drones, organic texture and honesty into one simply marvellous CD.

Kranky’s a good label anyway… we all know that (well, I assume we do, anyway)… but the quality of their releases over the last 2 years has become so damn fine that I’m slightly worried that won’t be able to keep up this level of sheer momentum in the future.

For now though I’m revelling in the fact that they keep releasing CDs of this calibre on a regular basis.

Herbert’s sound is immediate, yet subtle. The first time I heard its fuzzy textures I knew I was in love and yet it’s since become my most listened-to album of the year (thanks Last.fm for giving me a rough idea of what I’m actually tuning in to!).

It’s rough around the edges, but I think that’s all part of it. Hints of distortion, a sound out of place here, a crunch there… that’s the charm of it. He doesn’t hide the fact that it’s not perfect and I for one would like to congratulate him for that. Too many artists are utterly obsessed with everything being exactly right and whilst that has its place I suppose, it’s good to know that people still do it the old fashioned way.

The layers of texture that he’s created are dreamy and intense and provide a scintillating ambient backdrop for the more rhythmic or melodic elements that drift into the mix.

When it gets more rhythmic (and I use that term fairly loosely) it becomes ever-so-slightly reminiscent of Loscil getting stuck in the studio with Gas… yes, it’s that good.

Short interlude pieces link the main tracks together to form an engaging narrative throughout and the fact that they sound varied is testament to Herbert’s wonderful production technique.

Essentially you could compare this to several other artists – Gas, Tim Hecker, Loscil - but it’s because it comes across as a blend of them that it works so well.

It’s an album of the year situation for me and I have to recommend you get yourself a copy of this as it’s just quite simply brilliant.

Respect to both Chris and Kranky.


Post a Comment

<< Home