Posts Tagged ‘Ba Da Bing’

Ben Chatwin

Chatwin’s last album was full of murky textures, noise beds and ambient float that felt like it was deteriorating as the album progressed. His follow-up keeps the textural fortitude but moves into an area of tension between the natural world and processed sound. At the heart of Heat & Entropy is Chatwin’s reliance on strings off all types, from piano to guitar to dulcitone. He set out to only use forms of stringed instruments but began to process the sounds and fold his love of texture into the mix. As a result he’s found a headspace that falls down the line between Hauschka’s prepared piano eminence and Evan Caminiti’s dust cloud psych. There’s a dark glow about the album, murky and fitting of the album’s reliance on seascapes in artwork and video treatments. Its balancing a feeling of weightless float and the crush of 60,000 gallons from the listener to the surface.

The further on the album progresses the further away that last breath feels, but the surroundings grow more foreign and beautiful. Centerpiece, “The Kraken,” finds the breaking point, emerging from a clouded gust on the preceding track and opening up a beacon-steady beat with siren-like vocals ducking and weaving the repetitive phrases. “Euclidiean Plane” is a whalesong trapped in amber and there’s no easy feeling about ending on a note called “Corpseways.” Chatwin has elevated his ambitions, stepping further from the Talvihorros work he’d done previously to create an album that’s both decidedly post-classical in its execution and experimental in its impact. This is a claustrophobic, anxious and ultimately also serene album in its own right; as contradictory as that may be. It feels like knowing the end is coming and having the strength to let go.


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Ben Chatwin – “Euclidean Plane”

Another piece of the puzzle on Chatwin’s debut for Ba Da Bing, the gorgeous piece “Euclidean Plane” wavers between chamber pop bliss and the subtle underwater psychedelics of Sven Libaek. Aptly, like Libaek, the video for “Euclidean Plane’ takes to the seas, pairing the soft movement of an octopus with the burbling build of tension from Chatwin’s score. Though, unlike Libaek, Chatwin’s outlook is much darker. The edge of wonder is constantly in danger of being taken over by dread. The last dip into Heat & Entropy saw Chatwin move the dial a bit further from the clouded mist he’s been working in but this one fully emerges in bold and brilliant colors, albeit colors that are circling the reef and rippling with the light dancing on the surface of the water. Its a beautiful piece that bodes well for a full album that brings Chatwin the wider praise that he deserves.



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Ben Chatwin – “Inflexion”

Ben Chatwin’s last record, The Sleeper Awakes was a grey-skied masterstroke of noise-flecked neo-classical. His solo works find the deep ravine of sadness and rub cold dirt into the wounds, feeling somehow achingly painful and coolly soothing at the same time. The first bit of his new record for Ba Da Bing is just a quick flicker of the match but it hints at another album of cloistered and creaky compositions. Sounding every bit like the slow creep up the stairs to a dark childhood secret, the track pads in on soft dulcitone feet and that creeping music box feel runs up the listener’s spine with icy expectation. It appears most of the album centers around Chatwin’s use of pianos and, like the dulcitone, piano-like hybrids. This is just a tiny morsel of the album, but few bites have ever left me so hungry for more.



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