(Faraway Press)

In short, this is one of the finest albums by Chalk, who not only is a beautiful creator of highly absorbing soundscapes but should also be rated as a talented visual artist just by looking at the refined sleeves and poignant pictures adorning his recent and past releases. “Vega” starts in calm indetermination, with a group of contrasting harmonics and processed vibrations slowly bubbling under the film of tranquillity. After a few minutes the magic starts, as what appeared to be without a fixed place finds its way in a puzzling harmony, slightly obfuscated by a complete cut-off of the high frequencies. All notes and chords gradually intone a dejected chorus of enigmatic resonance, a quietly sad procession of virtual looks and eyes whose sorrow is underlined by fabulous glissandos blocking the stomach pit with the most aching, intense emotion, mixing a feel of pain and the consciousness of our being an insignificant particle in an unlimited whole. Thoroughly weightless, these layered washes of desolate beauty still leave doubts about their (and our) origin, establishing magnetic currents whose transitional drive remains beyond the border of extracorporeal. This process requires a complete abandon of instinctive defense, a personal background built on long solitary walks rather than disco nights and TV football, an ability to decipher the most disguised nuances of a sound to use it as a bathometer for a fair evolution. With “Vega”, Andrew Chalk has tried to give us the key to open the door of an apparently unreachable untaintedness.

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