Chimp Spanner - All Roads Lead Here review
|Album:||All Roads Lead Here|
|Release date:||February 2012|
01. Dark Age Of Technology
03. Mӧbius Pt I
04. Mӧbius Pt II
05. Mӧbius Pt III
06. Cloud City
07. Supererogation [Chuter Remix] [vinyl edition bonus]
08. Supererogation [TimfyJames Remix] [vinyl edition bonus]
09. Supererogation [The Algorithm Remix] [vinyl edition bonus]
10. Supererogation [Tanuki Remix] [vinyl edition bonus]
Chimp Spanner are damn cool. Chimp Spanner is prog for those that hate prog, djent for those that despise djent (or at least the new wave classification of "djent"). Oh wait, that's pretty much me. Chimp Spanner must be pretty good then.
Hailing from the glorious and glitzy land of Essex, Paul Ortiz, the sole proprietor and producer of the instrumental abstraction that is Chimp Spanner, impressed me greatly last year with the 2009 monster that was At The Dream's Edge, and along with French texturists Uneven Structure, demonstrated to me that djent need not be a thoughtless clone of Meshuggah. All Roads Lead Here can only be described as another feather in his cap. It should be noted for those unfamiliar to Chimp Spanner that Ortiz also makes music for video games and while it isn't as obvious here as it was on the previous full-length unless my imagination was running away with me I could have sworn it felt like I was playing Gunstar Heroes at times.
In simple terms (as detailed terms would likely be a pointless and lengthy exercise) All Roads Lead Here is a construct of progressive, virtuoso technical leads on a djenty bed of Meshuggary grooves contained on a sea of ambient and keyboard soundscaping. The inclination at this point would be to start name dropping the variety of techniques displayed here but my technical knowledge is abysmal. More importantly however is that to do so would be irrelevant and ill-fitting. It doesn't come across as a masturbatory exercise designed to impress the listener with technical skill, rather it's the ability to blend talent with ideas that strikes home. You can expect a tour de force of soaring melody and harmony, structural variation, even subtle motifs in the EP's "Möbius" trilogy, but for me it's the air of floaty, digitalised atmospherics which catalyse with what would otherwise be sterile musicianship that makes this such a great listen.
All in all it isn't as epically satisfying as At The Dream's Edge, but, when considering just how good the sophomore is, that hardly comes across as a major criticism. It just doesn't travel as vertically as the full-length does, rather expands itself horizontally through a middle ground exploration of similarly themed and felt tracks. For that reason this is a fantastically consistent effort, the compositions build on each other with layers of ambience and dazzling, if cleverly subtle, technical showmanship in all departments.
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