Artist: Chors Blor
Title: Knew EP
Label: Swamp Circle
Keywords: DIY, Electronic, Experimental, Ambient, Avant-garde, Noise, Plunderphonics, Sample-based Sound Collage, Vapornoise, Weird
Reviewer: Alex Spalding
It’s so cold right now that I feel like I’m living in a refrigerator unit, but on the other hand there’s some music I felt like reviewing while I’m at my computer. So, that’s good. 🙂
The Knew EP is by Chors Blor, and it’s pretty amazing sounding! There’s even a viiiiiiideeeooooooo! And, I love videos. So, let’s get this review started…
… so, yeah, we begin with ‘New Facebook Notification Sound’, which sounds at first like someone is slurp-sucking a pinball machine through a straw, but then we’re having an electronic bubblebath (don’t try that at home!). Dennis Hopper wants to fuck, but then the cops show up while KoRn is getting kReAmEd into the mix. Some kind of horror movie ambiance begins to swell up, but that’s when the pinball machine shuts off.
As if that weren’t magical enough, we come to a track called ‘Knew (ft. Lil Mozz)’, and that means it’s video time!
The staggering attention to detail comes through, which blows my mind. I love the way the sound effects what we’re witnessing here, with such a strange, creepy vibe… it’s hard to imagine being weirded out so thoroughly by really very innocuous visuals, of a man tinkering with miniature watch components, but that is exactly what happens. The glitchy editing is as precise as surgery.
‘tax footprint’ involves some downtuned funk, that seems to want us to “be someone”, but I’m not sure who. It gets p glitched up, warped, modulated… kind of reminiscent of vaporboogie sounds.
The lengthiest track on here, clocking in at 35:25, is ‘Home for Boys’… it begins sounding kind of dark and ambient, sort of drone-ish… then, I realize I’m hearing some cello, followed immediately afterward by the realization that I’m hearing a sample of Bernthøler’s ‘My Suitor’. 😀 There’s some radio broadcast coming in, a vocal sample that I recognize as well but can’t trace… very obscure sounds now, rustling around where I can barely make out their origin. Someone asks “are you stupid!?” and no one answers… it’s just left there, floating, in this space… after several seconds I have to laugh about this. Later, it comes in again, accompanied by all kinds of strange snippets of sound, barely audible ambient layers, downpitched voices… the color of this contoured soundscape shifts around, chameleonic, comprised of stretched out grains of samples presumably from various sources. There is a choir of lambs… I think… and a sufi… busy streets. Someone’s scoffing, while scary reverse sounds move through fields of hauntingly airy pads. Resonant breathing like rust, sounds are fractured like glass, a raspy didgeridoo. Parts of this sound like they were recorded in a bathroom sink, like all the sounds are swirling down a drain with bloody blobs of toothpaste. Someone’s speaking now, and it’s media sensationalism… there is a lot of space here, with odd bits and samples thrown in… I’ve come to a place where a soft song is being played, amid the previously described soundscape. Chirping, breaths or sobs. The ambient textures are shifting again in larger, noticeable ways, harmonically. Distortion swirls, crying, windchimes sped up and on repeat, then suddenly the textures minimize. Depictions of gore and random other things thrown in, woven into a tapestry of a typical 24-hour / 365 days-a-year news cycle, heightened background tension, then the white-noise fades and we hear bare synth chord pad bliss. More samples… elephant in a zoo distortion, tuba in a middle school band practice, brake-pad squealing in a lower register, amplified rain drops slapping at mud, vacuuming up some Philip Glass, a sequence of very stretched out vocal exercises. Loving the bizarre combinations and contexts. Rhythmic noises, graintable chatter. After awhile, it all suddenly stops, and I wondered if maybe the track had ended sooner than I’d anticipated. All sound is replaced by a dusty, cryptic wind. Some noisy texture creeps in, and it’s a bit foreboding. Someone or some thing is singing in a kind of chanting, marching style… it feels like subdued fervor of some kind, a drunken or karaoke anthem of patriotism, or possibly just a recording of a folk dance from somewhere.
The finale is ‘Death and the Lady’. I’m hearing some bagpipes! There’s someone singing, and it’s echoing… it is contorted with reverb and echoes at every vocal height. As it fades, I feel like I’m hearing someone breathing, and turning off a device.
Yeah, you really must hear this glorious EP, at the link below… it’s a fantastic and complex, edit-intensive compilation of sounds that any sound enthusiast is gonna enjoy.