You walk on a mountain trail aside a thundering river. The birds are chirping and it’s peaceful all around. Suddenly, you smack face first into a solid barrier, but there is nothing but the continuation of the path laid out in front of you. You extend your arm out and rest the tips of your fingers on the transparent surface. The air is sliced with an invisible blade and spreads like two pieces of fabric to reveal an entrance into darkness. You step through and listen . . .
Compelling percussion offers a substantial foundation upon which to build captivating music and, in some especially dark corners of the techno community, it’s the most vital component in a producer’s palette. Blurse is the newest full-length from Chevel, an Italian producer that revels in the granular, detail-oriented elements of rhythm, and the many ways it can serve as a principal ingredient in creative composition.
These beats are ephemeral and mechanical, existing just long enough to implant their oddball grooves into the mind of the listener before dissipating into atmospheric haze, only to slam back into the forefront with twice the intensity. Silence is something that Chevel always maintains a healthy amount of, in order to emphasize and enhance the deep synthetic ambience and sparse song structures cast against the blank canvas.
Blurse is unpredictable and deceptively sterile, but focused listening will reveal teeming worlds of lively, albeit abstract sound. Techno isn’t a genre that easily lends itself to the LP format, what with its lengthy experimental dwellings and meandering progressions, but Chevel grasps the layout and delivers a flawlessly paced record that’s exciting at every turn. If you’re seeking atmospheric, rhythm-focused techno, this album is for you.
– stasi (@stasisphere)