Chefkirk - The Earth is Mostly Ocean

Out now on Entracte

This CD-R comes in a matte blue sleeve with nothing on it but some clean text on the back cover, while the front cover is rounded off on one side and doesn't quite cover the entire face of the disc - somewhat like an eclipse. The back of the package states that this is inspired by the fact that the Earth is 71% covered by ocean - hence the title. Well, those elements, along with the song titles, may reference the watery depths covering much of the planet, but the nine tracks included within are honestly just your staples of the Chefkirk sound - be it glitchy cutups or loops, random spurts of harsher distortion, or even restrained moments that feel almost like field recordings or faint ambient undercurrents. What this all amounts to is basically another half-hour of true to form electronic noise, of which I've always felt that Chefkirk's brand is among the more literally defined by that tag… it simply sounds like diverse electronic noise, and could appeal to numerous fans of the styles associated with the larger banner of the genre. Half short tracks and half long tracks, there are a number of quick fits like the 24-second "Tides", which is just a set of quirky blips and scratches; while the minute-long "Ships" uses a few manipulated percussive sounds and a weird sense of reverberated grating or something for a rather chaotic surge. "Fresh Water" leans more towards the ambient side and possesses more of a flow or a linear build, so it's a shame it's too short, though still enjoyable. On the longer side, the eight-minute "Arctic Ocean" builds upon sparse loops for much of its duration, changing up in terms of sounds used, but never increasing in volume or straying from its general mood. "Oceanographers" follows at more than seven minutes and uses a few loops similarly, but adds in layers of wispy midrange and light feedback types of hums for added movement and volume. "Salt Water" then takes the road of thin distortion, granted nothing too aggressive, for an unexpectedly rawer, stripped down delivery that's actually pretty interesting - especially once the weird musical manipulations start to wind in at the close of the piece. Not bad as a whole. It's not my favorite Chefkirk release, but then again, with any project that's so insanely prolific there are bound to be preferential differences for a finicky listener such as myself, and I find little wrong with this disc other than the fact that perhaps some of the material's a touch stagnant. Regardless, I still know a number of noise fans would appreciate this material on several levels, and I myself definitely dig a number of these tracks. Running time - 32:06, Tracks: 9, [Notable tracks: Fresh Water, Salt Water], Aversionline

Chefkirk was silent for the last week, or perhaps two, but here's back with a sort of thematic release: all the tracks deal with water and oceans and even the cover is blue, 71% of what could be the cover. 71% is also the amount of oceans covering the planet. It's hard to tell wether Chefkirk uses the sound of water as a starting point for these compositions, it would make sense if he did. And at times he did, and started to recognize the dripping of water and the constant flow of the ocean - but maybe that's just my imagination running wild? Again, Chefkirk explores rhythm and noise here and continues the paths taken in his recent releases - occasionally noisy, but certainly with more dynamics and more careful mixing than say a year ago. Nice not great - as a lot of his releases. Frans de Waard, Vital Weekly

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