Faraway Press

One of the problems that Andrew Chalk aficionados must face is that his splendid works are typically released in very limited editions that disappear within weeks, often on vinyl (which rarely translates into good aural quality, courtesy of the pressing plants’ apparent lack of interest in sound art). While the larger sleeves of the LPs reward collectors with magnificent handmade artwork, this CD reissue is extremely welcome, allowing us better to appreciate the delicate textures and graceful suspensions of Chalk’s creations, which often seem so frail that even breathing disturbs their bewitching charm. Goldfall uses Vikki Jackman’s piano as source material, which is, as usually the case with Chalk, rendered completely unidentifiable. The CD faithfully reproduces the content of the original LP. The melancholic first half contains echoes of Satie, Basinski and Eno, with Jackman’s almost immobile elegies surrounded by lightly crunchy ambience, piano fragments approaching the listener like a dragonfly skimming over a pond. The second section is a reverse-tape version of the piece that adds a touch of greyness to it all, a foggy curtain of distant rumbles and imaginary calls that invites us to unveil the mystery that lies behind, only to realize that it could just be a deserted district or a gloomy industrial estate. It’s not what’s heard that makes Goldfall another indispensable addition to this artist’s body of work, but rather what we’re afraid of discovering in our own thoughts after the music finishes.

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