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CHASSE, LOREN - The Animals and Their Shadows

Format: CD
Label & Cat.Number: Semperflorens, sf12
Release Year: 2015
Note: new solo work by the always impressive Californian sound artist (COELACANTH, ID BATTERY; THUJA) => a multitude of field/object recordings were woven together to form mysterious, multi-layered ambient/musique conrete scapes with great detail for very focused listening, think of: TOY BIZARRE, ERIC LA CASA, etc.."..like a poetry book: metaphors, surprising comparisons, images strung on a thread of associative rhythmics." [Dmitriy Takmakov]
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"It's easy to imagine this album coming out on a well-known Belgian label Mystery Sea. Actually, Loren has already had a release there under a name of Coelacanth, and under his own name there was a release on Unfathomless, the sister label dedicated to field recordings. No wonder, abstract ambient compositions drawn on a frame of fieldies are always in favour. "The Animals and Their Shadows" is thill a bit beyond the concept of the Belgian drone imprint: Loren doesn't limit himselfby only by sea-scapes, his microphone aims to the whole range of sounds of natural and artificial origin. Something like Lawrence English's "Songs Of The Living" if they were not just his audio travelogue. So Loren develops his tracks using the abstract rhythms of occasional field recordings. "The Animals and Their Shadows" is like a poetry book: metaphors, surprising comparisons, images strung on a thread of associative rhythmics." [Dmitriy Takmakov]

"Loren Chasse from the USA is someone who has
been working inside that particular musical area for quite some time, but for whatever reason he never released a lot of music. Maybe he's just very critical of his music and that leads to just a few releases? I don't know. Likewise I must admit I have very little idea as to what it is that Chasse does to create his music. Surely there is some field recording going on here - a bunch of locations are mentioned on the cover (the Florida Gulf coast, Lava Beds National Park, California, Chinatown, Los Angeles, Lower Lewis river Falls, Washington, Elowah Falls and revival drum shop, Oregon), which brings some of the usual suspects: water recordings and wind.
But there is also the use of instruments to be noted. Percussion is something I believe to hear, maybe a guitar or some other string instrument. The music is quite intimate I think: Loren Chasse keeps everything quite close to each other and close to home. It never bursts out in something entirely different, or there are sudden moves to make a totally new gesture. Obviously there is also some kind of sound processing going on here, but here we have more questions than answers: digital, analogue, real-time human intervention? Hard to say, again. Sometimes I think there is some sort of sound being played by Chasse, at home, or somewhere outside and he's taping the
action on the spot. Maybe there is some sort of conceptual edge to his work? There is something
here that reminded me of the work of Small Cruel Party, a similar mystique in using sounds and instruments, melting these together, creating some finely woven dense patterns. Very quiet music, sometimes of the edge of nothing being there and ultimately quite a great release." [FdW/Vital Weekly]

"San Francisco is a city with a populace in constant flux, with only a few that could claim to have legitimately made a mark upon this city. Loren Chasse was one such artist, who had called San Francisco home for well over a decade and a half before taking up residence in Portland a few years back. His musical explorations begin through an endless curiosity with the uncanny sounds of the environment. In his art, work, and life, Chasse's sense of wonder with with acoustic details and phenomena played out like kid with soil-stained hands searching underneath every moss-encrusted rock and rotten log for salamanders, scorpions, beetles, millipedes and other creatures of the soil. He's equally at home exploring such ideas and thoughts with school children (the day job both here in San Francisco and up north) and rummaging around vast piles of sticks in one of the many deconstructed, psychedelic happenings he released under the banner of Jewelled Antler. Thuja, The Blithe Sons, The Child Readers, and The Franciscan Hobbies were some of the Jewelled Antler projects in which Chasse participated, though Jewelled Antler was seamless and fluid in recording a 'temple music' of their own making, wherein the roughhewn interventions of guitar, piano, zither, and gong morph into the ambience of a field recording and vice versa. This dedication to these organic networks of sound and the discovery of the transcendent through these explorations are just a few of the reasons as to why aQuarius has championed Chasse's work for so many years.
And so we get to The Animals And Their Shadows, only Chasse's second album since 2008, making his return to the recorded medium all the more welcome. As in particular with Thuja and his solo Jewelled Antler recordings under the name Of, Chasse loosely locates his sound objects in acoustically rich locations and often rebroadcasts those recordings back into those spaces to further the environmental resonance. The tracing of sonic footpaths with dripped sand matches the cold spray of the surf, with Chasse imparting a dislocation of the two intertwined coastal elements, emblematic of the way that he observes, shapes, and interacts with sounds both captured in studio and in nature. Radiant drones, leaf clatter, shapeless wateriness, and even a few stains of industrial detritus populate The Animals And Their Shadows finding parallels to both the almighty Taj Mahal Travellers and Akio Suzuki at the same time. Even when the sounds are distinctly from a drum kit or from a bowed dulcimer, Chasse finds a way to tilt those sounds into an organic other. A wonder to behold.
Packaged is a slim, dvd-sized case with hand-assembled insert." [Aquarius Records]