Friday, October 24, 2008

Chartreuse - No More Paths To Sounder Sleep

No More Paths To Sounder Sleep
(10.2008, Thor's Rubber Hammer)
File Under = Moody drone/ambient

No More Paths To Sounder Sleep sounds like a murky machine whose components are created completely from clouds. Now that sounds nice, doesn’t it? Well, if you agree then you’re obviously thinking of the wrong kind of clouds. The clouds in Chartreuse’s machine are the dark, graying, polluted kind that are as dense and heavy as they are soft around the edges. There is a pervasive feeling of anxiousness, the kind you might feel navigating a decrepit industrial factory (again, if it were made of clouds). Yet, even while Chartreuse’s eerie machine pumps away rhythmically with clouded droning loops, there is an elusive sense of comfort in each piece, something familiar. In the press packet for No More Paths To Sounder Sleep, Eluvium, Nadja and Brian Eno are identified as similar artists and that’s a pretty spot on assessment. In fact, the Chartreuse sound is like an accumulation of endearing traits from the aforementioned artists. The arsenal includes an organ style drone that shifts slower than the tectonic plates, sparse occasional field recordings and an intermittently emerging guitar. Using these tools, Drew Smith, the man behind the cloud machine, creates dense textures that are drowsily layered and looped like a self propelled toy that has been wound and let loose to amble along aimlessly. There are no real climactic moments, just slow realizations and tiny epiphanies amidst the haze. No More Paths To Sound Sleep is a devastating trip that increases in beautiful with each step.

-Mr. Thistle

Chartreuse on Myspace

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