For the very first time on vinyl Astral Recordings have collected the work of obscure synth-drone experimenters CHI. Formed in 1985 this collective of musicians made an improvised kosmische full of handmade percussion instruments, new-age synthesizers and extended tape loops. Their trippy electroacoustic drone and improv is finally available on The Original Recordings.
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- The Original Recordings by CHI
9/10 Laurie Staff review, 03 March 2016
A space age label unearths a long-forgotten space age band’s magnum opus to help usher in the long overdue space age. I’m still not convinced it’s here, despite what NASA tells you. Better score some peyote and make your way to your nearest desert, cuz things are gonna get kosmik.
This Dutch lot like to take it slow and steady. From their blissful, unfurling synth and organ chords to the gentle pounding of the hand drum, there’s a clear respect for all things dirgey, as if every repetition strikes with ever more hypnotic intent. Yes, it’s ‘new age’-y to some extent, but not limp and lifeless like the shit that new age usually gets associated with, exercising restraint and not reaching for the obvious ‘trippy sound’ dial on their synths. The hand drums rarely sound like hand drums too, apparently they’re all homemade percussions and you can tell by their strange and slightly ramshackle sound signature, giving the whole thing a more unique character. Bass guitars subtly underline the main jam, while what might be guitars or another synth makes quiet wailing pitch-bend things like the banshees of the night. Shoutout to the Marimba-esque tones of ‘Twisted Camel’.
Being a double 12”, The Original Recordings are lengthy and provide enough time to truly immerse you inside each of the quality drone-outs. Also, we all agree that that cover is brilliant.
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