John Chantler - Tomorrow Is Too Late LP
Australian born, Sweden-based John Chantler returns to Room40 with his fifth solo edition. Tomorrow Is Too Late was commissioned by INA GRM for their Présences Électronique festival in 2018 and sees Chantler expand the horizons of his acoustic palette. Moving from subtle microtonal movements to passages of intense harmonic saturation, Tomorrow Is Too Late is his most dynamic work to date, a powerhouse of reductive intensity that bears witness to Chantler's uncompromising sonic articulations. John Chantler's recorded works for electronics are a dichotomy. Each of his editions, whilst entirely refined and composed, maintains a distinct sense of experimentation. Chantler's willingness to forgo the familiar in favor of the unknown or the unexpected has become a recurrent methodology which has resulted in a body of work that is simultaneously united and sprawling; Tomorrow Is Too Late typifies this dichotomy. Across each of the long-form pieces, he brings together unexpectedly vibrant sonic materials that converge and occupy attention with a dynamic intensity that exceeds all of his previous offerings. Rather than considering dynamics purely in terms of amplitude, Chantler uses frequency as means for creating elegant moments where stability is removed and we, as listeners, are left to find our own way amidst the towering, complex patterns he devises. The record also maintains a surrealist sensibility; audio hallucinations manifest, buried within the acoustic substrata. Voices, submerged within electronics hint at some imagined place. They bubble away at the very threshold of audibility. Similarly, stacked oscillating tones create hazy acoustic visions that suggest concrète landscapes, a nod to the storied history of the INA GRM studio. Tomorrow Is Too Late resolves a great many of John Chantler's interrogations into sound. It also opens a new chapter for his work, an aesthetic deepening that is sure to sustain him for many years to come. Chantler works with synthesizers and electronics to create unpredictable, highly dynamic music where passages of spare, alien beauty bridge distorted washes of masses harmonics. Originally from Australia, he spent a decade in London before moving to Sweden where he directs a small festival. His work has been commissioned by Borealis Festival for Experimental Music in Bergen, Norway; Organ for the Senses, San Diego, USA; ElbPhilharmonie, Hamburg, Germany and Tectonics, Glasgow, UK. Chantler has also been artist-in-residence at the ZKM center for media arts in Karlsruhe, Germany and NOTAM in Oslo, Norway.