Monday, August 31, 2009

Chord - "Flora" CD

Combining members of Chicago rock and experimental groups like Pelican, Anatole, X-Bax, and Unfortunaut, this "not-supergroup" formed itself several years back, but this is their debut release, and it's an impressive one, to say the least. Chord's forte, and their strength, is that they concentrate their sound on that of the sustained, singular chord. Thus the name. The second track, "Gmaj (13)" is likely my favorite, possessing all the power, drama, and tension of a powerful rock track, without going as far as to BE rock. Quite a feat. "Chord" is a minimalist guitar/noise drone collection that has enough ambience, as well as rough edges, to be a superlative and transcendent listen. Inspired by stuff like Tony Conrad and Glenn Branca's tonal compositions, Chord's 54-minute album flows and drifts with plenty of texture and mood, never staying static for long. Sounds gradually build, crescendo, and fall like the tides. You won't hear any melody here, nor is there a detectable rhythm at all. In fact, the final track dispenses with the subtlety with no apologies, spewing forth a scalding barrage of brooding feedback. Stunning! This is pure sound, and "Flora" successfully creates an atmospheric travelogue, full of subtlety and depth. I loved this one, and will be playing it often. (Neurot Recordings)


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