FAME Review: Chvad SB - Crickets were the Compass
Chvad SB - Crickets were the Compass

Crickets were the Compass

Chvad SB

Available from Silber Media.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker

Chvad SB, in his latest, Crickets were the Compass, follows Brain Eno's On Land dicta far more cogently than most, then gets spacefaced and even Can-rocks a bit. The Dust Cloud Permeates is a prime example of this, dark and subtle, moving in layers, cross-stitching modalities. Anyone with half a wit knows Satie's 'furniture music' (properly 'musique d'ameublement' or 'furnishing music') was never meant to be a chair or armoire but instead a tableau, a still life, a miniature. In fact, the widely touted gnossienes and gymnopedies were not among what others have attributed to his furniture musics. Erik himself named only five pieces thusly, not one of them a gnossienne or gymnopedie…though I doubt he'd much quibble with what's been claimed regardless, his Rosicrucianism a bit too zen to be that crass. Satie's interest was that "furnishing music completes one's property".

Indeed, and Chvad SB's work becomes an extension of that, telescoping perception beyond the living room through the woods, over the lake, into the skies, and then beyond. In fact, I find these pieces to be a perfect cross between Eno and PBK (Philip B. Klingler), as the former was for quite some time fascinated by milieu qua milieu while the latter was a micro-surgeon delving into the componentry of ambientalism, tearing it down for its molecular and atomic secrets. Crickets is not music for gamboling or even a quiet chamber saturnalia but instead interactive meditation, in the 70s known as 'tripping out'.

Each piece (ignore the titles, they mean nothing) is an exercise in cerebellular architecting; that is: building structures within the brain itself. There isn't a Day That Goes By even incorporates a staple of musique d'ameublement: the sort of repetitive minimalism seeing beatification in Phillip Glass' oeuvre. Chvad SB's is not music to listen to but rather to exist within, all the more so if you're under the influence of an intoxicant of some sort, whether alcoholic, herbal, or hallucinogenic, anything causing the human monkey mind to cease its inner prattle and just be. Lacking that, you won't quite get all that's here, though you might still capture significant portions. Silber Records puts out a lot of cool experimental, electronic, and ambient works, but this is one of the best they've so far procured. Listen to it if you're not quite sane yet serious about music.

Track List:

  • It Haunts Her
  • A Hair Before Sundown
  • The Dust Cloud Permeates
  • People Keep Asking and I Say You're Well
  • There Isn't a Day that Goes By
  • Crickets were the Compass and the World Goes Round
All songs written by Chvad SB.

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2014, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
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