Without a doubt Shuttle358 has become one of the most admired artists to emerge from modern electronic music’s sea of musicians. From the humble beginnings of a demo CD in 12k’s mailbox to 4 critically acclaimed cds, Dan Abrams is, to some, the one credited for bringing a warmth and human touch back into what has often been considered a very cold, sterile genre. It began with 1999’s Optimal.lp (12k1005), a groundbreaking debut release that immediately defined the Shuttle358 sound; a hybridization of the then-emerging “microsound” genre with Eno’s true ambient explorations. In 2000 Abrams outdid himself with Frame(12k1011) by honing his sound design and exploring production techniques at rates that made his “now” quite brief and creating what was to become one of the most sought-after cds in the 12k catalog. Also with Frame emerged Abrams photographic influences which he explains:
“My photos take the concept of framing “real life” quite literally. more specifically, I focus on pieces of life that are left behind, but still part of us. That’s why often I leave the human presence out from situations that usually have many people. In that case, i am capturing the moment that an object (or space) is left behind or about to be left in a state of stillness. It is parting temporarily from its human companion. or simply, I am capturing our life as humans from the point of view of those objects. But in the end, they tell the story about our lives because the subject of my photos are the objects of humanity.”
Chessa is the third release from Abrams’ Shuttle358 moniker on 12k and he continues to do what he does best: attempt to move microsound away from the world of theory and towards absolute real life. LIke his photographs, Chessa is music about, and to be listened to in, unexpected places. It is a narrative, a simple slice of life that plays out through the incidental photography of the cd cover. To achieve this Abrams fuses irregular granular sound particles, like the movements of everyday life, with a deliberate melodic base that captures emotion and simplicity.
Chessa is packaged in an expanded 6-panel digipack that features Abrams’ photography which is an equally important part as the music. He is planning a printed series of works as well as an online gallery of images to develop this unexpected story.