And now for something completely different! Given a certain proclivity on the part of our promo pit to offer up the most chaotic and tortured exemplars of extreme metal, a little relaxation and recuperation goes a long way 'round these parts. Enter Chalk Portraits, the one-man ambient project of one Greg Kennelty.
Most ambient music carries the burden of assumption that it is primarily background music, designed specifically to fade out of the foreground. Chalk Portraits, in contrast, has served me quite well over the past year or so when it comes to focusing on the task at hand. This expansive and otherwise open-ended ambient approach provides the optimal soundtrack for the organization of hectic thoughts. As such, I'm quite pleased to present, in its entirety, the forthcoming Chalk Portraits EP. Entitled Memory, this latest effort is most certainly worth checking out if you're in need of a little calm--and, frankly, I dunno who isn't. Check it out below, and, as always, we'll see you on the other side!
Try-not-to-get-relaxed-challenge, amiright? The assorted elements that contribute to the overall landscape are simple and crisp, never requiring the brain to play catch-up, so much as revel in every passing moment. While sparse by nature, I wouldn't exactly call Memory a minimalist piece--there is always something of significant intrigue humming or chirping through the ol' headphones. It is, notably, a very sensory experience, and big step forward for Chalk Portraits in terms of making the most out of an intrinsically limited sonic arena.
The entire affair is best enjoyed in full--"Memory I" through "Memory V" effectively act as a single piece broken into acts with distinct moods. That said, my favorite individual tracks are "II," for the bright sunny aura, and "III," for the subtly somber and melancholic air, punctuated by poignant arpeggiator glimmers. For an ambient track without a hook in the traditional sense, the latter is surprisingly earwormy--the kind of music that follows you around all day. It's a pleasant sensation, to say the least.
Says Greg Kennelty in regards to this latest effort: "It's here! Memory is streaming in full and now everyone gets to hear I've been listening to pretty much all month. I'm so proud of this album, if only because I've made something that I really want to hear on repeat. Now go get some headphones and chill out. Memory is heavily inspired by the works of Light In The Attic-type ambient artists like Hiroshi Yoshimura, the synth magic of Mort Garson, some of the chiller Arp stuff, and the music you hear in the non-country portions of EPCOT. Memory is an adventure into another space where sounds shimmer all around you."
Chalk Portraits - Memory will be released May 7th, 2021. Find it on bandcamp here (for a remarkably fair price!)
While we Villagefolk are all-too-oft content to snooze whilst wrapped in the suffocating embrace of music's more extreme edges, a little diversification in the genre department can go a long way. I, for one, am a big fan of the murky and ill-defined worlds of dark ambient and experimental electronic--particularly when the artist in question plays with expectations in a, well, unexpected fashion.
Enter Emerson Sinclair--classically trained, but since described as "quietly metal as fuck,"--who combines seemingly incompatible elements of dark synth, rock, baroque, electronic, and traditional liturgical. Just the level of experimentation we needed to wake us from slumber. Needless to say, this combination of sounds and influences is a melding that is better witnessed than clumsily described. As such, we're happy and honored to premiere here today the music video for Emerson Sinclair "Singularity." This arresting track is the second single from the forthcoming Never Without The Pentagram, a split collaboration between the genre-melding artist featured here today, and cello-based black metal ensemble Hvile I Kaos.
Without further ado: check out the video below! We'll meet you on the other side.
You may ask yourself, hitting play on the track below: “When did Ancient Hand start writing Absolute Fukkin Bangerz? Question of the day, folks. On previously outings, as I noted over on the Village’s Instagram outpost: “Ancient Hand dwell[ed] in an intriguing space between electronic sounscape'd ambiance, and the delectable dark synth one finds lurking in dungeon depths...expertly balancing an ominous air with a feather-gentle touch. Muggy claustrophobia meets ethereal ungroundedness.” Not so much anymore, as the artist in question takes a hard left turn at the corner of “continuing to do things the same way” and “shaking it up quite a bit, actually.”
"ORAL" is Name Your Own Price over on bandcamp, and if you throw down a buck today, March 20th, bandcamp will give 100% to the artist. Just sayin.' Listen to it here:
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry.
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