richard chartier: series

cha-s.jpg (10k) richard chartier: series
(LINE - 2000)

It don't get much more minimal than this!

While richard chartier is no stranger to microscopic sound synthesis, he turns it up (down?) a notch with his new ultraminimal excursions. series is the first release on LINE, a new side-label of 12k.

Honestly, after hearing several minutes of "silence", I thought I'd gotten a bad disc. Closer observation and full volume revealed the miniscule sonics at work below the threshold of "normal" listening... imagine audio images from an electron-microscope-for-the-ears.

1's subaudible hums are dappled with rather spacious sprinklings of digital grit and occasional miniature echoed blips. Low-level thrumming seeps from 2 (2:10), almost unnoticeably panning across left and right. Louder though still very subdued, electronic waves ruffle through 3 tracing the contours of microscopic hills and valleys.

A slowly repeating pattern of higher-pitched, fine-grained mist pulses then fades; 4 (9:16)'s self-replicating cycle is joined by a hint of a metallic warble and almost imperceptible bass fibrillations. The mode shifts to a hovering veil of gleam, alive with barely discernible activities within; some of these tones grow comparatively "loud". Various zones of effervescence are reached as 6 bridges sonic regions of hushed static through areas of void.

Crisp insectoid buzzings inhabit 7, phasing in and out over vague terrain. Slightly more audible, 8 riffles on ebbing/flowing neutronic waves, drawing nearer then away. Tinny warbling emits from 9, bespeckled with microbe-sized pips and scritches.

While known for his spartan electronic endeavors, richard chartier is now dabbling in the turn-it-up-or-you'll-miss-it realms of hyper-micro-minimalism. Not that the 43-minute-long subatomic digital soundscapes of series aren't interesting to explore - they are - it's just that even with headphones, these 8.3 audiomolecules can be overridden by external environmental noise. You'll need a capable stereo system, good 'phones and a very quiet place to investigate these extremely quiet (though certainly worthwhile for microscopic fans) spaces...

Learn more at the new LINE website...

This review posted November 29, 2000

AmbiEntrance © 2000-1997 by David J Opdyke (except CD cover art, rights retained by original owners).