Ben Chatwin – Unravel

Exclusive track taken from Ben Chatwin’s stunning new offering ‘Drone Signals’, released through Village Green Records on CD and vinyl format…


Feeding strings through an array of modular synthesisers and utilising modern sampling andgranular synthesis, Ben Chatwin remoulds his recent ‘Staccato Signals’ album into newmicroscopic electronic textures. ‘Drone Signals’, a companion piece to the original album, is setfor release via Village Green Recordings on 14th September.

Unlike ‘Staccato Signals’ where Ben started with a blank slate and built the music up layer bylayer, finishing with the string quartet, this time the process began with everything on hand. Thetask became dismantling the tracks – stripping them apart to see what was left, letting certainsounds or instruments become the focus, and then rebuilding the arrangements around them.This allowed elements to breathe, yet also to become more static. The less chaotic and moreambient nature of these pieces suggested a related album of versions, a conceptual sibling –‘Drone Signals’.

Using the final element of the previous album, recording the strings, as a starting point to feedinto his machines, Ben developed a central conceptual tool of his previous album – giving upcontrol – even further. The result is a fractured and dissembled interpretation of ‘Staccato Signals’as performed by modular synthesisers.

In this way, ‘Drone Signals’ might best be understood as the aftermath of ‘Staccato Signals’,retaining much that made the latter such a rewarding album – it’s mournful beauty, the tense,ambiguous relationship between electronic and acoustic elements, and a delicate if not volatilebalance between elegance and intensity. This time, however, the palette is broader, more static –concerned more with monolithic structures than with sharp edges.

Accordingly, the hectic energy of ‘Hound Point’ and ‘Knots’ from the former melt and decay intothe slow, gradual burns of ‘Nordsjœn’ and ‘Unravel’, while the strings on ‘Black Castle’, prominentand stirring on ‘Staccato’, reappear only in strangled, muted gasps on album-opener ‘BurningWitches’ – occasionally flickering through the smouldering distortion. Where ‘Staccato’ is urgent,dynamic and chaotic, ‘Drone’ is expansive, dispersing its harmonic identity over much widerspaces, requiring more of a vertical listening experience than its predecessor.

Pre-order’s available here

www.villagegreenrecordings.co.uk

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