Relaxed Machinery might be one of the best names that I’ve ever seen for a label, not only because it’s just a clever and very visual collocation, but because that name does perfectly illustrate each and every one of their releases that, at any given point, I have come across. This applies with full force to their 2012 release from Chronotope Project, Chrysalis.
Chrysalis is built upon a foundation of calm ambient pieces with a strong trance and psychedelic influence, slowly evolving melodies, arpeggios, and sometimes even tribal percussion. Sometimes you might hear an instrument entering with a lead melody and suddenly ascending above the mix, only to disappear. I suppose if you’re reading this review, you already know the drill for this type of album. The concept of Chronotope Project is also a classic for the genre; it is a sound that strives to illustrate the interaction and inseparability between the abstract and deep metaphysical entities of time and space. Chrysalis, however, is dedicated to a person, and I think this makes the album an interesting, introverted attempt to comprehend and interpret such large scientific terms.
The intimacy this gesture of dedication adds to the record is probably the best thing about the album. Once you read the liner notes, you might be able to ‘understand’ or at least paint for yourself some mental images that can explain the delicacy of the sound, the minimalism, the looping melodies. The pieces, which sound somehow encapsulated in their own nature, know they take shape for a reason, because inter-human interaction is a mutual process really limited by the nature of the humans involved. No matter how endless your inner cosmos may be, it’ll always be you and the other person(s) in the end.
So stick to this concept, stick to these elaborations and interpretations, because only they can make your experience in Chrysalis more interesting and challenging as Chronotope Project doesn’t really do too much in this album. The music is surely not a surprise for anybody who’s spent enough time within the genre, nor is it something mind-blowing that can convince the new listener that ambient can be a varying experience. But it’s a nice addition to your collection if you’re a fan of the spiritual side of the genre, or if you just like good music for your contemplations.
02) L’avenue du Ciel
04) Reflecting Pool
05) Eternity’s Sunrise