upsammy - Wild Chamber

  • A bright blend of techno, IDM and electro.
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  • In the December issue of The Wire, Joe Muggs referred to a trend of high-definition, high-bandwidth club sounds by artists like Objekt and Lanark Artefax as a response to the "digital sublime," in which ideas once reserved for hi-tech fantasy—virtual reality, voice assistants, "the internet of things"—are becoming fixtures of everyday life. In their most recent records, the two artists mentioned scrambled '90s IDM sounds with spectacular attention to detail. upsammy's latest release, a mini-LP called Wild Chamber, has a few things in common with those records—the melodies echo early Autechre, and the rhythms churn in elaborately mechanised patterns. But far from embracing this digital sublime, Wild Chamber's introspective sound actually suggests a refuge from it, less data farm than botanical garden. The music's shyness might not be immediately apparent in its bright and unpredictable tones. But more often than not they summon an understated melancholy ("I Live Here," "Between The Stone") or inquisitive, searching moods ("Screaming Colours," "Why Are You Sitting Here."), the balance making the listening experience smooth and well-rounded. Wild Chamber's tuneful tracks are enriched by lifelike details: the rapid wing flaps of "Screaming Colours," the cracking of flint stones on "Meddle In It," the bicycle bell on "Why Are You Sitting Here." Wild Chamber's accompanying artwork nods further to the music's mulchy, organic feel. Not everything on Wild Chamber is essential. "Blue Cornflower" sounds a lot like what's come before, and by this point the bright melodies feel overused. But a lot else is excellent. "Each So Deep"'s mix of cool keys and frantic synth bassline result in something ineffably mysterious. The title track's glinting synth sequence is as neat and sincere as a handwritten diary. The closing track, "Between The Stone," shows the value of paring things back. The clacking drums are typical of Wild Chamber's inventive percussion. But the plainspoken harp-like melody is an outlier: a thing of simple beauty.
  • Tracklist
      A1 I Live Here A2 Screaming Colours A3 Why Are You Sitting Here A4 Each So Deep B1 Wild Chamber B2 Blue Cornflower B3 Meddle In It B4 Between The Stone