(Faraway Press)

Home-recorded live, the newest album by Andrew Chalk is a sonic picture of the slow flowing of blood through veins, a silent incessant flux from the smallest ramifications until the definition of a complexion in the more or less peripheral phenomena of our life. Created through a wall of reverberating guitars whose resonances and harmonics are beautifully delineated by the droning temper of the music, the tracks of “The river” are less inscrutable than usual, allowing the ear to follow some sort of movement within the mantric chords in a withholding, barely moving circulation of harmonic air. This gives the record a meditative mood – a superior serenity, so to speak – which shows another dimension of the man from Hull, not too far from his previous work (“Over the edges” comes to mind in brief glimpses) but nevertheless a little more straightforward and – possibly – accessible for the uninitiated. While the most static recordings by Andrew put us in a suspended state between corporeal abandon and desolate melancholy, this river unintentionally invites to following, its chiming prayers like monologues by an evolved creature in no need of raising its voice.

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