Chevel - Blurse

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  • Chevel focuses on the little things. With time, the Italian artist's techno has grown cerebral and detail-oriented. The best moments of 2013's Air Is Freedom, for example, abandoned the techno blueprint, zeroing in on quirky morsels of electronica instead. Last year, he expanded on the concept with two free releases: Sketches (2009-2012) and Drafts (2010-2014) were ostensibly unfinished leftovers, but in execution they actually made a sprawling, open-ended extension of Air Is Freedom. This has coincided with Chevel's general move away from straight-up techno in favour of broken, Hessle Audio-style bangers, as heard on Tank / Beaviane, his 12-inch from last year on Mistry. Now, Blurse takes his updated style and strips it down for a record of spindly oddities. In a brief interview with RA, Dario Tronchin said he likes working with Stroboscopic Artefacts because there's no pressure to make "clichéd music" or "bangers." Sure enough, you won't find much of either on Blurse—the tracks are brief and ephemeral even when they're slamming. Tronchin tends to set up a broken beat, let it dissipate into a long, atmospheric breakdown and then bring it back twice as hard. The formula is especially pleasing on the groovy techno of "Flippant Remark" or the trippy "The Windrunner," where the percussion is mapped out all over the stereo spectrum and lends the otherwise spartan track a certain meatiness. Though his palettes are stark, the sounds are rich; Tronchin's bottomless breakdowns are ornate and deep, and there's a physicality to both the drums and pads, which stand out against the blank backdrop. With its clinical approach and inscrutable beats, Blurse can bring to mind Pearson Sound's self-titled LP from earlier this year. Like that album, Blurse is difficult and unpredictable, and also lacks the typical grappling points of a long-player. But Tronchin excels at these sorts of production sketches, so the best moments of Blurse are actually its fussiest. The aptly-named "Watery Drumming" is one of the most abstract tracks, with a rhythm that swims upstream against splashing water droplets. "Stranded" is just a swung pattern that strikes with militant precision, doled out in the simplest, cleanest tones possible. Sketches and Drafts laid out the wide scope of Tronchin's abilities with a rambling and ramshackle narrative. The approach continues on Blurse, which contains Tronchin's most focused work, presented over a remarkably wide spectrum (there's even sleepy and soothing stuff, such as dreamy Aphex-like "Heimweh" and closer "Form Of Love"). With its jagged flow and short attention span, Blurse could easily pass you by without making much of an impression, and it isn't as impressively whole as Air Is Freedom. But as with the best of Tronchin's music, if you focus on the details, you'll find there's more here than might first be apparent.
  • Tracklist
      01. Comb 02. The Windrunner 03. Down and Out 04. Low Roof 05. Watery Drumming 06. Heimweh 07. Flippant Remark 08. Identity Switch 09. Loop #42 10. Stranded 11. Loop #33 12. Form Of Love