Two weeks ago, I geared up and set off on a chronological journey through the first 3 releases of CHPTR — a Berlin-based entity making enchanting techno and releasing it on their self-titled label. It is advisable that before proceeding to read this, you see my journal entry from that adventure (here). This week, I returned to the path I travelled on to pursue a fork in the road I could not see yet — CHPTR004. Read and listen on:
X — it has been years now since you last saw your first companion. In that time, life has stomped on, putting a grim past behind you. There is still a looming, portentous air all around this ghost town. The sounds of your old adversary often carry long distances to your ears, his deafening steps echoing loudly as he marches — 1,2,3,4. Even so, you can always feel the soothing melodies from that lighthouse beam. Even when the light of the moon grows dim, you feel a warmth within when you hear the beam sing. And your head nods on to a soulful percussion. You must be strong!
XI — the march carries on. You are matched step for step by your aggressor, but he is still lagging behind slightly. There seems to be a vocal obscurity coming through the the streets, like the muffled cries of a didgeridoo. Light beams occasionally whizz by overhead, skipping spritely across the backs of floating, swirling harmonies. That percussive head-nodding is back again. These cunning sonics are luring you to your doom! The enemy is drawing closer. Its fell calls are clearer now. Snap out of it!
XII — once again you are beset by mortal danger. In your stupor you only managed a feeble attempt at making a run for it. Now, you are stuck at a dead end, cornered and seemingly without any means to circumvent certain death. But as your foe towers over you, a steady stream of pacifying, sing-song waves begins to reach your ears. The daunting beast slows its breath. It falls back onto its front legs, having reared up to show its full menace before. It seems to be in a daze of its own now, stunned. This is your chance to prolong your tenure on this barren plane. You make a run for its open right flank just as the waves come to a stand-still and that heavy, hungry breathing returns!
CHPTR004 as an instalment fits perfectly into a well-narrated story of human emotion. The tone has changed with this fourth release and it is harder and more aggressive. The entity continues in its crafting of stories that bare it all while veiling just enough to keep your attention. There is a sense of brutalism in some parts that is stark and confronting, but it is always met with a countering grace; so warm and at times almost engulfing, much like an embrace. Yet again this anonymous group has produced work that engages the mind. It may have changed in its presentation but it retains the same ability to affect.
Listen to a special live set that CHPTR recorded for the 107th episode of our podcast: