Chameleon Jersey Featuring Liliam – Everything Is Nothing (NJMP3-0445)

The artwork, by John D Mackay, for the Everything Is Nothing single from Chameleon Jersey featuring Liliam reminds us that every time we use a lightbulb... uh... actually, I'm not sure. Is there something going on with lightbulbs that I didn't know about? Something even more sinister somehow than the shit industrial factory conditions that manufacturers of bulbs doubtlessly are compelled to tolerate? Regardless, I suggest we all boycott the use of these devices until we get to the bottom of this mystery. That is why any time I need light I just set something in the room on fire. Clean energy!

Artists: Chameleon Jersey Featuring Liliam
Title: Everything Is Nothing
Label: Noise-Joy
Cat#: NJMP3-0445
Keywords: Downtempo, Experimental, Ambient
Reviewer: Alex Spalding

This is another of the three singles sent to me by Chameleon Jersey for release at Noise-Joy in 2007, and was actually the final of the three. It came out originally in one form, but was quickly revised by the artist, I think maybe twice total. This, the last version – and only version left, as the previous two were overwritten and I did not keep them on file – featured vocals by a certain Liliam. Before I am tempted to say more, let us move onward… to the review!

Ah, and here we are. We’ve arrived now at the review. ‘Everything Is Nothing’ begins with some very atmospheric, pretty synth sounds just kind of coil themselves around your brain. The vocals, by Liliam, come in slowly at first, but you soon start hearing more of them. I will have to be honest and reveal that I am not actually too very fond of Liliam’s vocals on this track. While the music is, itself, very nice, her vocals kind of take me out of it. It’s not that she’s a bad singer… at least, not in the very technical sense of “what it is that constitutes being a good singer in this day and age”. She is adept at carrying a note, for instance. It’s something in the way her vocals are intoned, how they feel kind of melodramatic. There are times at which she sounds like she wants to go off on a somewhat Björkian-as-Jamaican tangent (“Everyt’ing is nothin”), but reserves herself from going for it fully. The result of this is that, for as dramatic as the vocals sound, there’s a restraint that doesn’t work very well. It’s like, she’s about to really STA-ART SINGING BUT NO-Ow at an ODD interval she’s going to bring it down to a hush instea-ead… anyway, due to this it’s up to Chameleon Jersey who, for me, had elsewhere demonstrated a knack for crafting very beautiful music works, to carry the whole track and do his best to make it listenable. And he does a good job of it, but maybe just not enough of one for this to have been something I could listen to more than infrequently. When the light groove comes in, along with the soft blast of guitar static, it’s a sign that soon we will be treated to a duet. I prefer C.J.’s vocals by far as they sort of match the delicate, introspective feel of the tune but, alas, Liliam’s tend to just come in and bury them. Piano, reverso-synths, echoing and reverberating sounds of bliss.

Still, you might disagree with me and, if that is the case, this might be something you’ll actually really enjoy! I liked it enough to release it, but mostly because I was so enamored of Chameleon Jersey’s skillz. Here’s a link, for you:

http://archive.org/details/ChameleonJerseyFeaturingLiliam-EverythingIsNothingnjmp3-0445

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