Tiprod

Tranquil Death Phenomenon, out on Retinascan

7/10
Here's another shot of glitchy and diverse electronic noise experimentation from the ever prolific Chefkirk, beginning with the nine-minute "Multiple Organ Failure", which shifts quickly and fluidly from faint hints of melodic ambience to distant harsh distortion, to rhythmic electronic spurts that have a percussive sensibility, not to mention tossing in wisps of faint midrange hiss, lulling chimes and stuttered mechanical surges, and a couple of rather aggressively distorted spurts along the way. Overall this particular track is strong, but I will say that there are a couple of passages that are incredible, representing quite possibly some of the strongest sounds I've ever heard from the project, so I can't help but wish those areas stuck around for a little longer - if not being plucked out for their own more consistent compositions elsewhere! "Tube Feeding" is much shorter (four minutes) and starts off with a crispy, subdued sort of hum that's only faintly distorted for added texture, and this approach very subtly builds in and moves around over the course of the entire track, as some low-end swells come in for very brief moments and a generally strange, bubbly sort of loop seeps in to take a little more control - thus making for a much more linear and streamlined piece as opposed to the opener. Then it's on to the 10-minute "Terror, Catastrophe, Diarrhea and God", which also begins with a rather restrained hum, but quickly introduces some scattered electronic melodies that sort of revert back and forth with chaotic fits of restrained distorted cutups that are mixed pretty low down. These types of sounds build into another slightly more straightforward track, at least in terms of overall consistency, but there's a little more volume and movement than in "Tube Feeding" - with a few surprisingly acerbic bursts later on in the piece. The disc comes in a tiny jewel case with an eight-panel color booklet printed from a high quality color printer, so even though there are a few unfortunate printer lines, the landscape images still look fairly artistic. I'm not really into the strange black shapes incorporated into the photos as I find them to disturb the otherwise tranquil settings, but it does still look fairly nice overall. Despite a couple of minor shortcomings with this disc, I definitely have to give credit where due since the sounds are all interesting and I quite enjoy aspects of these compositions. As usual this is a crisp and truly electronic sound that should appeal to a variety of experimental noise fans. I personally believe that Chefkirk has yet to really reach his peak, but he's certainly coming closer, and I'm looking forward to his eventual success in that department!
Running time - 23:49, Tracks: 3 [Notable tracks: all three are pretty good]

A new series of 3"CDR releases on Retinascan, called 'The Noise Smalls' dealing with various kinds of noise music and of course the unavoidable Chefkirk is present here. He has three tracks on his 'Tranquil Death Phenomenon', which is everything but tranquil. However, to put this down as 'just another' Chefkirk release doesn't justify it entirely. Chefkirk goes again a little bit further in the world of glitch and rhythm, and actually puts on an intelligent collage of noise and rhythm but also with quieter, introspective moments - maybe even a bit of ambient. Slowly Chefkirk is refining his sound. (FdW, Vital Weekly)

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