REVIEW: DEATH BY MISADVENTURE
With his second album as Chymera, Bren Gregoriy blurs the boundaries between dance floor and home listening.
After almost 1 ½ year in the making, Chymera (Bren Gregoriy) presents his sophomore album Death By Misadventure, which, in the artists own words, is meant as “a listening experience from begin to end and constructed as such.”
Many of the tracks on Death By Misadventure transgress the boundaries of musical genres. The album’s opener The Drop is a beautiful blend of piano-led ambient and mid-tempo orchestral electronics. The following track, the carefully constructed Drowning, juxtaposes a lush melody to metallic percussion whilst wordless vocals swell and retreat.
Further down the line, heads gradually turn towards the dance floor with tracks like An Island In Space and Strange Things Are Afoot. The former is a melancholic house track with a classic house piano and a beatific melody. Strange Things Are Afoot is a breezy track which main ingredients (stabs of high-pitched melody, a rolling bass line and a crisp rhythm) remind of releases on deep house imprints such as Buzzin’ Fly Records. Aloof starts as a combination of a dry bass-kick, some cymbals and dubby chords. But when the melody kicks in, it lifts the track to a completely new level of aural beauty further enhanced by wordless, swooning choir-like vocals.
A personal favorite on the album is Who Bends First, an electronic piece with a free jazz beat structure and a rolling organ. Its lush and woozy melody brings back memories of the Boards of Canada’s Geogaddi. Another highlight is the closing track Swim Away. Wordless vocals are laid over a sparse melody until it explodes into a whirlwind of cymbals, percussion and an urgent melody.
The versatile tracks on the well-crafted Death by Misadventure blur the boundaries between dance floor and home listening. The main reason is that the beat structures are carefully balanced with or subordinate to the beautiful, orchestral melodies. Well done!
8/10 - Patrice Knap
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