Boomkat Product Review:
Jewelled Antler Collective lynchpin Loren Chasse teams up with AKTI Records boss Juho Toivonen on this levitational set of bubbling environmental recordings and clouded ambience.
Loren Chasse is one of those artists who we feel never got his due. Based in Portland, he's been responsible for too much music thats reverberations are felt but not always seen clearly. While everyone and their dog might be slapping Zoom-recorded twig crunches over detuned zithers and conch shell improvisations in 2023, Chasse was setting the standard back in the late 1990s, shoehorning free-thinking abstraction and deep listening concepts into the New Weird America movement. "ACLOD" retains that spirit completely, and here Chasse is working alongside young Finnish musician Toivonen who sounds like not only a devotee of Chasse but also of his related local scene. Toivonen re-released Chasse's 1998 field recording album "Synthesis of Neglected Places" on his AKTI label, and the two began to shuttle music back and forth, processing recordings from Washington and Finland and developing this lengthy, pillowy composition.
The good news is it's a masterclass that doesn't grandstand in any way, it simply shows us what so many contemporary artists that attempt this style (and there are a lot) miss so unvaryingly. As might be expected, the environmental recordings are sublime. Not iPhone notes clippies of backyard frolics, they're detailed captures of fascinating outdoor sounds: rushing water, submerged clunks, sticks, stones and cracking bones. And the more musical elements the duo fold into their narrative are subdued and effective. Diaphanous drones are hard to come by in these trying times, but Chasse and Toivonen know that magic happens when you restrain yourself and cut sounds down to the bare minimum. The chiming sine waves sound as if they're growing out of nature itself, electronic but completely biological somehow. If yr into Sugai Ken, Lieven Martens, christina vantzou or crys cole, you'll need this one.