Chris Child is better known under his moniker of Kodomo, where he creates music that evokes a Vangelis quality to it. Wanting to step away from that, Chris released last month ‘Pieces for Piano Vol.1’. The title is misleading though as whilst piano is front and centre throughout the album, its the textures around it that make Chris Child’s compositions stand out.
Each piece is imbued with an ambience of sorts. That could be a new age space synth with as with ‘Variation of Fugue BWV 904’, or it could be the damaged white noise bursts and creaks of ‘Dissolve Part 1’. Each track has its own character and only half of it is down to the piano itself. The prelude tracks, of which there are six, all share a demo-like mic quality that allows for room textures to alter the mood. Sometimes weird organ noises can be heard, other times its the hammers or a subtle hazy keyboard noise – it all adds a certain something to it. ‘Silver Spring’ then levels the concept up by having a piano played in an outback forest setting that slowly gives way to trippy synths. It’s a stunning track and effortlessly moves into the ambient noise drones of ‘Dissolve Part 2’ that has hardly any piano at all. It closes the album with a burst of harsh industry. As a musician, I found it fascinating to find myself searching and ear-pricking for all the background noises rather than focusing on the piano itself. That may not appeal to everyone, but I really appreciated and enjoyed the different approach to sound design.
It’s difficult to review this album because it is highly mood dependant. I love the subtle complexities and phasing noise shapes that sit behind the piano itself. It’s definitely a lonely album – one for the bluer and quieter moments. Then all that lost ambience comes into its own. One for the thinkers.
Recommended track: Silver Spring
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