Andrew Chalk - Ghosts Of Nakhodka LP
Label: Faraway Press
You may be thinking, there was an album by Andrew Chalk with this exact same title. And you would be correct but for one small distinction - the 2009 album was called Ghost Of Nakhodka and this 2015 album is Ghosts Of Nakhodka. Ah, the difference of plurality! The album is pegged as a sister to that 2009 album though Chalk has implemented a different set of tools on this one. Instead of piano and guitar laced with placid droning effects that was found on the singular Ghost album, here he's using a monophonic synthesizer occasionally dappled with field recordings and a few choice effects. It becomes very clear this a Chalk record through the albums' impressionist fragments spilled across 13 tracks, each rich with his languid sense of space and his elegant timing in placing this free-roaming kosmische blorp here and that swollen ambient blur over there. Brian Eno's Discreet Music and Apollo would be the closest references to what Chalk is up to here, though his production methods are qualitatively rough hewn in the synth manifestation of melancholic nostalgia with little of the portent that Eno imbues into his work. The miniatures presented are exquisite jewels coming from a craftsman keen on showcasing his work to a select few and within an deliberately intimate setting. It would seem far out of Chalk's character to broadcast works such as these at the Guggenheim or even the ICA. Instead, a humble English cottage with a sod roof and a console-sized cathode ray television as the only means of transmission. Ah, the wonders of Andrew Chalk never cease.