Chris Carter – Moon Two (2018)

Chris Carter’s Chemistry Lessons Volume One is populated with insistent melodic patterns and a distinct sense of wonderment at the limitless possibilities of science. “If there’s an influence on the album, it’s definitely ‘60s radiophonic,” Carter says. “And over the last few years I’ve also been listening to old English folk music, almost like a guilty pleasure, and so some of the tracks on the album hark back to an almost ingrained DNA we have for those kinds of melodies.”

As a founding member of Throbbing Gristle alongside Cosey Fanni Tutti, Peter ‘Sleazy’ Christopherson and Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, Chris Carter has had a significant role in the development of electronic music – a journey which has continued through his releases as one half of Chris & Cosey and Carter Tutti and a third of Carter Tutti Void – as well as with his own solo and collaborative releases.

He is also credited with the invention and production of groundbreaking electronics – from the legendary Gristleizer home soldered effects unit through to the Dirty Carter Experimental Sound
Generating Instrument and the sold-out TG One Eurorack module (designed with Tiptop Audio, these modules can be heard during Carter’s set at a recent Rough Trade event) and the Future Sound Systems Gristleizer modules – Carter has created the means to make sounds as well as making the sounds themselves. The 25-track album was recorded in Carter’s own Norfolk studio and the artwork and accompanying videos were self-created, taking cues in part from battered old experimental BBC broadcast LPs.

Despite having been worked on over an extended period between various artistic projects in a variety of different moods, situations and circumstances, CCCL Volume One’s experiments never feel like Carter noodling around aimlessly in his studio-laboratory. Instead, there is an inner coherence and a distinctively Chris Carter approach to sound and execution that showcases the sonic scientist’s restless, questing creative spirit forever scouting for new ideas.

Chris Carter will perform a rare modular set on Monday 19 March at the Faber Social Art Sex Music event, which also features Cosey Fanni Tutti in conversation with Laura Snapes, a reading from Luke Turner’s forthcoming book and a talk from Lilith Whittles.

Chris Carter Live 19 March – London, Faber Social – SOLD OUT


Rival Consoles – Untravel (2018)

Directed and filmed by Misha Shyukin

Order it on 2LP/CD/DL here.

The title ‘Persona’ was inspired by Ingmar Bergman’s film of the same name, specifically a shot in the opening credits of a child reaching out to touch a woman’s face on a screen, which is shifting between one face and another. This powerful image struck Ryan and it inspired the album’s main theme — an exploration of the persona, the difference between how we see ourselves and how others see us, the spaces in between; between states, people, light and dark, the inner persona and the outer persona.

“My music is generally inward looking. I like finding something about the self within music, that doesn’t have to be specific but maybe asks something or reveals something. This record is a continuation on the self through electronic sounds. Like Legowelt once said ‘a synthesiser is like a translator for unknown emotions’, which I think sums up what I am trying to do. I think all these emotions we have make up our persona. So in a way by finding new ones you alter or expand your persona. And that is what I want my music to try to do. I deliberately aimed to be more sonically diverse with this record. I wanted to experiment more. I wanted to create new sounds and new emotions.” — Rival Consoles

Recorded at his studio in south-east London, ‘Persona’ benefits from Ryan’s exploration of a dynamic production process that combines analogue-heavy synthesisers, acoustic and electric instruments with a shoegaze-level obsession with effect pedals. A greater depth of emotion and confidence can be heard across the album. From the deconstructed movements on ‘Unfolding’ that starts the album with a snap of delayed snares, the apocalyptic drones of the title track and thundering drums in ‘Phantom Grip’ to more restrained ambient feels of ‘Dreamer’s Wake’, ‘Rest’ and ‘Untravel’. The latter transverses six beatless minutes of undulating melodies representing “a limbo space, a feeling of ennui, of not really ever being known to others and others not ever really being known to you”.

“The Untravel video was greatly inspired by the music itself and Ryans idea behind it. We were exploring ways of visualising the feeling of being lost and ennui, experimenting with various techniques of distorting the footage in order to intensify the experience of a disoriented feeling in a strange and unknown landscape, yet maintaining a constant forward motion while examining the desolate world.”

‘Be Kind’ reveals a musical connection with fellow Erased Tapes artist Nils Frahm, with its minimal approach and improvisational nature. On the more complex sounding ‘I Think So’Ryan aims to replicate a colour collage with sound. Like a musical kaleidoscope, a flashing and convoluted mass. Written after he saw Slowdive perform live last year, ‘Hidden’ builds from whispers to landscapes of controlled noise. In an interview with XLR8R magazine, Ryan explains: “once you start trying to make a sound loud, then you turn your back on thousands and thousands of sonic possibilities. One of the best things to do is to start a track with a really quiet, weak sound.” Taking this idea to its ultimate conclusion, ‘Fragment’ closes the album as an innocent sounding ambient piece, almost nursery rhyme like, yielding time for reflection on how the persona has changed.