Richard Chartier – Further Materials – CD – L-NE

After a brief fallow period, relatively speaking, Chartier and L-NE summarise a clutch of his extensive contributions to compilations on a wide variety of labels from around the world, from between 2002-2005. Chartier adherents will be quick to confirm that this was perhaps his most productive period, soundwise after a brief hiatus, and personal re-invention, taking on the mantle of uber-minimalist, with a series of recordings that challenged the auditory sensibilities of many of us, with a series of near silent pieces that nevertheless bristled with activity and vitality.
Further Materials quantifies this period with a logical timeline that traverses Chartier’s numerous approaches from the stark restraint of “composition09.01” for the now defunkt List label, through to a more recent, and somewhat busier live foray, “tempt” for Canada’s Mutek in 2005. One of the high points of the collection for me was the wonderful “how things change” a tribute piece to Morton Feldman on Trente Oiseaux in 2002. Positioned between Steve Roden and Bernhard Gunter, Chartier’s piece was a rigorously worked slab of ultra-minimalism, that deployed a gristly, textural backdrop with shifting foci, occasionally peppered with a delicious sub-bass tone, drifting off into complete silence. In fact, it was the perfection of digital silence that to some extent drew Chartier back to recording, as silence here is used as a primary compositional element , that separates and punctuates the more audible elements.
Interestingly, two of the “specification” pieces, eleven, and fourteen, appear here, constructed as they were with long time collaborator, and label buddy, Taylor Deupree. These highly reduced atmospheres exemplify the modus operandi of both composers, where simplistic tonalism is layered and juxtaposed with other organic elements to create shimmering surfaces, and pastel colours. I was also heartened by the inclusion of “untitled” from Canada’s 1.8 Records, and “improvisation_122904b” on Portugal’s Grain of Sound, both in themselves important pieces for very small, specialised labels. The former being almost pure synth, framed with organic particulates, the latter using rich, expansive, reverberant tonal stabs, that veers into almost dark ambient territory. Followers of Chartier will no doubt be fully aware of his considerable influence on modern minimalism, and for the neophyte, this is a vital and essential access point to his work, and numerous approaches. Highly recommended. BGN

 

 

 

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About whiteline1

WHITE_LINE was set up three years ago, in order to play and promote the work of artists and musicians working under the banner of "minimalism", in all its many guises. This has led to a regular and highly successful mix slot on the Garden of Earthly Delights radio show in the UK, and guest appearances on Resonance FM (frequenzen show). We now aim to extend the remit of the mix slots by reviewing (as often as possible) material that encapsulates and crystallises the minimalist ethic, and hopefully we'll be leading artists and audiences alike towards a deeper appreciation of this and other marginalised genres. I welcome your comments, and criticisms, and would love to hear from labels and artists who would like their work showcased on the show, or reviewed here. We regret that due to time constraints, we cannot review everything that is sent to us, but will endeavour to give exceptional work an "honourable mention" at the very least, and links to quality sites that we think worthy of mentioning. I am trying to support labels and artists as much as possible by promoting their work, not least because I am a stereotypical "struggling artist" myself, but also because there are so few younger artists entering this particular scene, and there is a danger of it becoming the sole domain of a handful of forty somethings who really ought to be doing something better with their time! Having worked for most of the more reputable underground magazines in the early 90's, I was never afforded the luxury of taking time and care over reviews, as deadlines and column space were always hanging like the sword of Damocles over me. With WHITE_LINE, I have the luxury of being able to review when I have time, and I am receptive to a particular mood, and hopefully this will reflect in the quality and length of some of the reviews. If you like what you see, please link to me to encourage more traffic through the site, and cross promote whatever is happening out there. Address for promotional material: 45 Drovers Walk Spring Park, Kingsthorpe Northampton NN2 8BB UK

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