Chevel - Always Yours
This new record from Italian Producer Chevel is really unlike anything you've likely ever heard. There is no distinction between genre, or even sounds on this record, just a smashing of influences across the board. The album has it's roots in dance music, but branches out into extremely new territory from there. Some people are calling this techno, but that would be doing it a disservice as it is far more experimental than it is techno. The beats being on the floor or working in a dance setting don't really matter here even if they sometimes stumble into that territory. This is more of a auditory experience than anything though aspects of dub, grime and sometimes even House tend to slip through. Each track is a new surprise in use of sound and electronics to create music. This record however doesn't feel as wild or out there as most experimental artists like Aphex Twin or Arca does and instead uses the bones of dance to craft these slick sounding tracks. It would be easy to write these songs off as too weird or too avante garde but at the center of it all is this really strong connection to a percussive movement. The skittering sounds grounded by these flashes of passing air on "Warming Bath" are ethereal and light but for as spacey as this album gets it always manages to find some anchor to the ground. The tension is palpable throughout, with builds that elevate the tracks to new heights but they never fully materialize in a way you'd like to really let loose and explode. You almost want Chevel to be more generic so you can understand it a little more, but He refuses to be pigeon holed or put into a box.
"Data Recovery" begins with this sense that it might be a dance track with ab beat put more or less on the floor, but it evolves into this mass of sound and 808 claps that feels overpowering and dark. Chevel lures you in but never gives you quite what you expected. "Dem Drums" is as aggressive as this album gets with full bound attacks on the percussion amongst almost ghost like sounds looming in the background. At one point you can hear spoken vocals but only slightly as they are said for what seems like miles away. "Underwater" which really feels like Chevel's tech version of what water must feel like is an adventure in and of itself and is perhaps the most inspiring track on the album. It employs these sounds almost like sonar pings reaching out into the universe to see if anyone is listening. All this is well and good except for the fact that nothing from this album really has much sticking power. For as vivid and unique as it is you would think you would want to keep going back to these tracks, but once they are done you never get the urge to go back. There is a ton of interesting production going on, but the results are somewhat minimal and once you get it, you've got it. A solid and interesting record, but not one you'll find yourself feigning for.
6.8 out of 10