sink \ sink:

[FbL17] cinchel - ritual habitat


The first time I heard Jason Shanley's music was his "Paginated Overflow" release on PublicSpaces Lab. The album was raw, full of depth, drones, loops, distortion, feedback. Its raw beauty hit me immediately and kept me listening to it over and over again. Layers of texture, saturation, and decay from his guitar and pedals. It's on my 'great albums of the year' list. The only thing I ever found lacking was it needed a bit of mastering - and frankly, the album was so good it just didn't matter. A perfect case of it's not the tools, or the gear, or how it was recorded... it's the artist plugging into the flow of the music in their head and letting it out. This is what music is all about to me. That gut feeling, instinct, and raw emotion. Give me a great album over an immaculately produced one any day.

It's a great honor for me that Leonardo Rosado, the curator of Feedback Loop, asked me to write a few words about the new Cinchel album coming out. He knows my love for Feedback Loop and for Jason's "Paginated Overflow" and he knew I'd love "Ritual Habitat". I've listened at least ten times to this e.p. so far - and I'm definitely a fan. There's the same rawness, the same "plugged into the universal flow of music" feel, and with "Ritual Habitat" I hear a bit of growth. Maybe more confidence in Jason's work, more space between notes, more willingness to explore the quieter side. It's everything great about "Paginated Overflow" with a new maturity and grasp. Yes, it's better.

Leonardo has created one of the best series of releases out there currently. His ability to pick artists and albums that fit the feel of Feedback Loop borders on brilliance. I'm honored to know him and call him friend. He did not go wrong with adding Cinchel to the fine list of artists released on Feedback Loop.

While writing these notes I've been listening to "Ritual Habitat". I don't want to ruin the experience for you by describing each track in detail. I'm not a reviewer anyway, I'm a fellow musician. However, I would like to say as I reach the end of "Ritual Habitat" - the last 2 minutes of the album literally soars into the sky on layers of musical feedback - at first like the blinding light of the sun piercing the horizon ...until it gets just high enough in the sky to gently bathe the earth in a hazy glow of wakefulness.

I will be listening to "Ritual Habitat" for a long time to come.

John Koch Northrup, Aug 24, 2011
Short Bio

I am a Chicago based musician working with guitar, effects and laptop to create abstract ambient music that is both minimal and dense. My main focus has been the interaction of sounds/notes with themselves. When I began playing guitar at the age of 17 I practiced this idea using solo guitar and a simple delay, influenced by the guitar playing of The Edge (from U2). After a few years I was finally able to afford a simple 4-track and I began exploring the effect of layering guitars and adjusting the tape speed to produce interference and dissonance. It was at this point I started listening to the music of Glen Branca and Rhys Chatham and could hear the beauty that was an ensemble of guitars, where the whole ensemble was a large instrument that stopped sounding like a guitar. With only the use of delay, layering and distortion I attempt to make a lot of guitars no longer sound like guitars. I have avoided the use of MIDI patches/samples and advanced software like Max/MSP mostly because I would rather spend my time playing guitar than learning to program. I like to call this minimal dense music for that reason.

cover design by Leonardo Rosado
(cc) by nc nd August 2011

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This was a marvelous project pursued during 4 years. It had the main intention of providing listeners pleasure and tribute to the artist.

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