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Chaperone – Pond

Pond

Pond

Chaperone is the project of Philadelphia-based artist David Coccagna.  The project seems to have gone through somewhat of  a refinement  from its far looser origins as a “noise with beats” unit into the polished work that’s been presented to us on this LP by fellow Philadelphians Great Circles.


Chaperone

Chaperone

Unlike a lot of the newer minimal techno acts that incorporate noisier elements into their sound palette, Chaperone seems to have a laid-back, almost chopped-and-screwed feel to most of the songs on the first side of this slab of wax.  That’s not to put it in the same camp as more mainstream acts like Thievery Corporation or Bonobo, but it certainly isn’t a strident house beat or tensely militaristic in approach like many acts are employing these days.  There’s almost a warm nostalgic feel to some of the samples employed (which sound like they were sourced from locked-groove records rather than a sampler)  that approximate memories of old urban neighborhoods that have since been torn down and rebuilt with overpriced condominiums.  Whispered footsteps echo in thin alleyways as glasses clink together in a bar down the block; memories fade in and out of focus. Dilapidated, broken brick buildings reconfigure themselves back into their former states, and time stands still.  Caught between an uncertain future and a past that seems to be re-written by developers, the Philadelphia landscape is constantly reconfigured on a sixteen-step sequencer.

I found myself more drawn to the remix section of this album, which takes up the entirety of the second side.  Thug Entrancer’s remix of “All Your Emergencies” brings a unique insistent approach reminding me of UK deep house (like the first time I heard Underworld on the Trainspotting soundtrack) that stands out against the two other reworkings by Westov Temple and Hero/Victim, which don’t stray too far from the feeling and pace of the original versions.

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Track List:

A1) Get Ghost
A2) Cough into Auditorium Can’t Tell Me to Nod Now
A3) All Your Emergencies
B1) Get Ghost (Westov Temple Suspended Mix)
B2) Cough into Auditorium Can’t Tell Me to Nod Now (Hero/Victim Remix)
B3) All Your Emergencies (Thug Entrancer Remix)

Rating: 7/10
Written by: Jacob DeRaadt
Label: Great Circles (United States) / GRCR009 / 12″ LP, Digital
Experimental / Electro / Noise / Techno