Review of Chessa [12k1030]

Boomkat (UK)

Shuttle 358’s undisputed masterpiece – Frame, was released a good four years ago and has been one of the most admired and sought after minimal electronic albums we’ve ever had the pleasure of listing across these pages. At a time when the whole “clicks and cuts” movement became homogenised and labelled as part of Mille Plateaux’s mission to imprint new generic forms into an already over-labelled scene, Frame stood as an irresistably human collection of tracks, glowing with an irrepresible warmth at a time when the machines really had it their own way. Chessa is quite easily Dan Abrams’ finest work since, developing its own sense of introspection through sounds that (despite the “microscopic” tag) suggest vast expanses of sound, pitched through layer after layer of radiating warmth. Abram’s keen eye for photography seems to accompany these pieces as both inspiration and concept, creating small vignettes of reverberating space, like a series of photographs capturing snapshots of everyday life. Again, there’s much here to compare to the other-worldly layering of Brian Eno and Harold Budd, Markus Popp’s effervescent work as Oval or even the unrivalled crackling hum of Wolfgang Voigt’s Gas. Chessa is a deeply intimate album, a late night companion that you should engulf yourself within without delay. **Limited to 1000 copies only – packaged in an expanded digipack featuring small snapshots of Abram’s photographic work.

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