Chromesthetic is the project for Gina Kantner. Her self-titled release Chromesthetic is a ten-song album that contains a lot of noise. The guitar is her main weapon here and she makes what you might call soundscapes. Distortion, feedback and effects come first while some of the songs contain break basic beats so the songs don’t float away into the ether.
The songs have a hypnotic quality to them and are purposely repeated to put you into a trance-like state. Chromesthetic is an album that could essentially work as one long track. The album starts off with “Hapten” which is essentially an intro when comparing the length to the other songs. Feedback drips from the speakers with minor fluctuations.
It’s chaotic sounding as are many of the tracks including “Speed Mean.” “Speed Mean” contains no beat and almost feels like a constant build up. Enough effects are happening here to not know which end is up. “Treatment” introduces a beat. It’s simple but creates enough difference to make it have momentum. As the song progresses the white noise starts to overtake you and beats shift more into the background.
Kantner sets up another song that feels like it is on the precipice of breaking on “The Beat Again” and “Synaesthesia.” The two songs which go all out are “Contact” and “Suicide.” “Contact” is a sprawling song. It starts with a beat but gives way to a mind bending feedback section where the sounds become singular and warp. “Suicide” on the other hand builds and builds with white noise until the crescendo. It slowly starts to dissipate after that. The closer “Rapid Motion Reflection” while not as full-on intense as some of the other tracks is dynamic with minute variations in volume.
I would have liked to hear this album with better fidelity like that of Fennesz or Tim Hecker albums. The nuances are what matters here and being to dig a little deeper into the sounds would have helped at points.
Chromesthetic isn’t for the faint of heart. Fans of shoegaze and experimental noise should appreciate some of the sounds she is creating here. I'm looking forward to seeing how she evolves her sound.
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