Richard Chartier: Recurrence (Line)
Line’s first release in 2000 was Richard Chartier’s own Series album. Recently Chartier has been revisiting this early material, considering ways to rethink, reuse and reinvent it. His latest minimal take on the concepts and sounds is split into two unequal halves. The first, “Recurrence (Room/Crosstones),” is over twenty minutes of quiet, deep low-end tones, while the second, “Recurrence (Series),” is more varied and runs closer to an hour. The first thing I noticed about this one was that I pretty much had to listen on headphones. The sound of my amp’s fan drowned out the music, even at a loud volume. (Bear in mind, while my amp’s fan is not faint, it’s certainly not loud!) And perhaps what made that so competitive is that Recurrence is very much like the hum of idle machinery or amplification, magnified. “Recurrence (Series)” is definitely the more active of the two segments, with sounds ranging from small hiccups to crazy oscillating near-supersonic tones, mid-range drones panning from channel to channel, and more. But it’s the supreme low-end that dominates the first track that I find most compelling, vibrating intensely and reaching in toward something more primal in the process. By revisiting some of his earlier material, material that perhaps defines Chartier’s aesthetic and artistic intent, Chartier continues his legacy as a key player in minimalism and spatial sound, reinterpreting his own ideas and sonic shapes into new equally engaging and uncompromising forms. As his first solo material in years, it’s not to be missed for anyone interested in the more severe outer limits of conceptual ambient sound.