Bliss / Aquamarine – Chvad SB “Crickets Were the Compass” (2014)

Chvad SB has been active in music since 1991, running Facility Records (with whom this is a split release) and playing in a number of bands such as Things Outside the Skin, Tongue Muzzle, The Qualia, and most recently joining pioneering experimental band Controlled Bleeding. This CD features thought provoking artwork by Richard Sala, of a post-apocalyptic scene populated only by a dog, whose expression looks forlorn yet hopeful. A faint glimmer of hope, a glimmer of life within a deathly landscape; a juxtaposition of bleakness and optimism that is mirrored in the music itself. Dissonant, abstract rumbles and drones and harsh mechanical and computerised sounds creating an unsettled mood are punctuated by moments of beauty, courtesy of the melodic passages played on synth, xylophone and guitar. There Isn’t A Day That Goes By does away with the harshness altogether; it’s a soothing ambient piece with heartbeat-like pulsing rhythms, relaxing atmospheric synth sounds and a hypnotically repetitive melody. Despite the ‘difficult’ nature of the music, this is actually an engaging album that demands the listener’s attention. Available from

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