Release Date: 26/01/2015
They say scientists know more about space than they do about the deep recesses of the ocean. If it’s weird shit they’re after however, I wonder if they’ve spent enough time YouTube surfing, as someone who occasionally stumbles on it’s abstract corners. One such corner holding my attention over the last twelve months has been a YouTube channel titled ‘Chookiesss’, exposing all manner of weird and wonderful experiments in electronic music to the wider public. Recently, I discovered it’s founder has self-released his own EP entitled ‘Closed Mouths’, and much like the channel he curates, it is both a diverse and challenging affair.
Perhaps what is most instantly disorientating is the fact it’s structure follows no conventional thread, meandering instead between disparate textures, all the way from the meditative groans of ‘Blossom’ to ’Cel’ - which seems to have been composed largely with the aid of a jackhammer. Throughout the EP, the tracks strain against themselves, lacing these vast sheets of ambience with fibres of high-pitched noise.
Take, the opening ‘Dawn’ for example - with its mournful, haunting vocal loops gathering in intensity across a mesmerising four minutes - a long way from the eardrum shattering noise of ‘Cel’. Furthermore, ‘Flagella’ and ‘Velvet’, call to mind the work of Tim Hecker or Fennesz; droning walls of fuzzed out chords occasionally soar in intensity before crashing down wave-like back into Chookiesss subdued ambience.
‘Closed Mouths’ doesn’t ring of anything conventional in its composition, instead aiming to surprise and provoke the listener with its contrasts at every turn. In this sense the release feels somewhat fractured, as if showing fragments of something much larger - let’s hope Chookiesss has more pieces of the puzzle ready for us sooner rather than later.