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ANDREW CHALK
The River That Flows Into The Sands LP (Transparent vinyl)
28
Faraway Press 02 / UK / 2018
The strikingly radiant masterwork The River that Flows into the Sands receives its first vinyl airing thanks to the wonderful Faraway Press imprint. Exploring oneiric and ghostly guitar soundscapes, Andrew Chalk centers his attention on the guitar and develops a series of meditations that gives his music new depth. While all drone music has a drifting quality to it, The River that Flows Into the Sands is worthy of that description for a different reason. The expanses that normally come to mind when I listen to Chalk are gone on this album and replacing those images is a sense of continuous movement. The bowed instruments and contracting moans seem weightless and inconsequential, floating away into nothing, but leaving a path for other sounds to follow. Like a fountain each drone bubbles up and slowly fades away or evolves into a new drone and each time a sound disappears, there is a new voice there to replace it. Multiple listens will reveal, however, that Chalk really hasn't left that much silence on the record. That illusion is generated via the way Chalk mixes very distinct melodic features with fairly constant tones.