Shuttle358 | Chessa

12k | CD

12k's third release by Shuttle358, 'Chessa' underscores Dan Abrams' position as an artist cutting his own path amongst his .microsound contemporaries. As the whole 'clicks and cuts' movement implodes - thanks in no small part to the feeling that it's been endlessly exploited as a revenue-stream by Mille Plateaux - 'Chessa' sets sail for warmer territory, adrift on a hovering sea of sparkling melody.

Over eleven restless tracks Abrams sculpts slowly evolving sonic structures of extreme elegance. Static shrouded melodies pulse and cascade, elongated harmonies with once brittle edges shimmer, the results spiralling outwards like the sun-lit ripples on a glimmering lake of mercury.

Like the bleached photographic fragments suggestive of fading reminiscences on the elegantly minimal DigiPack, 'Chessa' is suffused with the memory of melodies - sounds once lost and forgotten, echoing far-off in the rounded corners of the mind.

Like gently sand-papered vinyl whose dulled grooves release distant airs, 'Blast' quivers around a paper-thin structure, three minutes of haiku-like musical aphorism. 'Marche' picks up with the gentle, filtered echo of a forgotten heirloom - grandfather clock melody underpinned by a pale ghostly aura - before layering into the semi-transparent cicada-rhythm of 'Nerf', half-erased clicks cut short, smothered in the crackles of a smouldering fire.

Abrams' talent is unquestioned, and the persistence of his melodies - in particular their ability to instantly inscribe themselves in memory - underline his position as an artist well worth following. One looks forward to his forthcoming book, also titled 'Chessa', for further meanderings down the less wandered paths of memory.

[CM]



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