Whettman Chelmets - Koppen
Released: July 7
In his first release on the Strategic Tape Reserve and his second release this year, Whettman Chelmets brings us a strange and wide-ranging album filled with cryptically named pieces. Each piece incorporates a number of differing techniques that include field sampling, strings, and modular synth noises. The varying atmospheres evoke various moods, but all seem to center around an abstract dullness that is broken by various bits of somewhat bright components. Large amounts of ambiance give each track an expansive depth with some feeling particularly cavernous yet remaining grounded in a concrete way.
Opening up with "Af," the sound of wind and rain come through initially until fading away to give way to synthetic strings that carry the track on peacefully until they are join by distorted modular noise that slowly reintroduces the original sounds of the track. Later on, "BWh" brings us the cavernous space filled with airy ambiance and an unsettled synth groan that creates an air of darkness as it drones forward, giving an edge of turbulence to the track. This dark turbulence is then supplanted in the next track, "Csa," by more synthetic strings and a percussive modular sound that sounds akin to rapid-fire hi-hats playing out a difficult to grasp yet consistent rhythm. The experimentation in sound variety is truly incredible throughout the album with these ambiances and discrete synth sounds dancing around each other in slightly chaotic fashion, creating odd juxtapositions that advance the work of Chelmets in unexpected fashion.