Boomkat Product Review:
Pétra's Chantal Chadwick assembled her solo debut album after a series of near-death experiences, exploring liminality with thick waves of synthesis, subtle environmental recordings and faded processed instruments. RIYL Harold Budd, Noémi Büchi, or Perila.
'Night Blindness' is an album that almost triggers dissociative states - there's something about Michelle's smudged-out concoctions that feels dreamlike, formed from "a transitory space that is somewhat akin to lucid dreaming." Notoriously, AFX's "Selected Ambient Works II" was fuelled by similar experiences, so you can imagine the general aura here, but Michelle's successive tangles with mortality give her compositions a strikingly different emphasis.
There's no lack of hope in tracks like 'Rupture' or 'Pure' though; on the former, Michelle drives field recordings through rich drones, a psychedelic vision appearing through white noise and into symphonic synths, ascending to almost new-age clouds. On the latter, Michelle uses piano from Sonja Mauro and blurs it with reverb, adding billowing synth pads and painting a landscape similar to Harold Budd's sublime "The Pavillion Of Dreams".
The title track appears at the mid-way point, spiraling into a darker void. 'Cold Streamers of Dust' is especially moody, with echoing sax from Michelle's Pétra cohort Brian Allen Simon, flashing synths and ghostly reverb-drenched vocals that strike with poignancy.