Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Synth&Sequences Review of Sensitive Chaos "Seeker After Patterns"


mardi 19 juillet 2011

SENSITIVE CHAOS: Seeker after Patterns (2011)

Sensitive Chaos is the musical project of the multi-instrumentalist Jim Combs who lives in the Atlanta, Georgia area. Seeker After Patterns is his 4th album, an album which navigates between delicate, very Southern rhythms, with a little tribal touch, and ambient structures. Rhythms are mainly minimalist grafted to a palette of very heterogeneous tones, giving to Seeker After Patterns a rich musicality which pokes through in every listening.
The discreet hopping chords which introduce the title-track, "Seeker After Patterns", are fast harpooned by bass notes which juxtapose a slightly zigzagging rhythmic approach. A metallic synth with hedging chords is joining this rhythmic while dropping some fluttering pads to give "Seeker After Patterns" a strange harmonious envelope wrapped up by silky synth lines and twinkling electric piano notes. This jerky rhythm which livens up "Seeker After Patterns" evolves by following its minimalist cycle to which is added diverse instruments as the suave and melancholic saxophone of Brian Good which precedes a very ambient moment where electric piano notes dance in a mellotron mist before that the rhythm, which moves stealthily, takes back its tempo with a more incisive approach. "Warm Glow of the Atomic Fire" is a soft floating track with fine oscillations which fly in delicate echoing loops to subtle and different variations. "A Piece of Stars" follows with delicate arpeggios skipping on a binary synth line, with one which frees a suave constant blow while the other throws oscillations in a threatening manner. It’s a very nice track with a delicate tribal approach by its tom-toms and Amerindian light winds which evolve on a minimalist structure where percussions dance with these arpeggios slightly spasmodic, due to their nervous tempo, on suave breathes of a gyrating synth and instruments which shape the movements of winds (EWI). Another ambient track, "L’Ascension" navigates in inter-sidereal spaces among synth gentle winds which are not without recalling the melancholic complaints of Vangelis.
A rhythm galloping on notes of wriggling guitars and undulating bass gives to "Sensitive Chaos" a curious western- indie structure. A catchy rhythmic structure to subtle variations that I can imagine quite well as a track in a Tarantino off-the-wall western movie. "Thoughts of Home in a Sand Storm" offers a jerky structure rhythmic where chords and pulsating sequences are criss-crossing to those of a synth / keyboard with curious cackled tones. A soft and warm synth, as in "L’Ascension," wraps of its warm layers this tempo which stutters of a greater intensity. It’s kind of odd, a little like the title-track, but it is a nice listen because of the discreet and subtle sound fauna which revolves around a rather unexpected rhythmic structure."Psychic Twins of Gemini" is a kind of electronic bed song which swirls of its delicate crystalline arpeggios. A track of an incredible simplicity, because of its timeless sound glass carousel, "Psychic Twins of Gemini" charms by its cherub approach. I quite liked it. Percussions and felted pulsations flutter while notes of bass and riffs of guitars fall to drown into keyboard keys, so drawing the very ambiguous and unusual rhythm of "Simon Stilites Dreams of Rain", a very IDM track. Heavy layers and twisted solos from a caustic guitar are binding in this very metallic fusion where knocks of anvil percussions are fading in this very iridescent which is hiding a subtle approach of a lonely cowboy avoiding discreetly the places of his riot. This latest album of Sensitive Chaos also offers two versions of the title-track "Seeker after Patterns" for radio needs. It is the same track but divided in 2 parts. The 2nd part starts from the section of piano notes floating in a mellotron mist. I prefer the original version, but what radio needs...
The music of Sensitive Chaos isn’t the most known in the spheres of modern EM. It’s not Berlin School, not even techno, but a skillful mixture of various styles which bind themselves in beautiful minimalist structures. Catchy structures where we perceive all the artistic work achieved by Jim Combs. I already heard, and reviewed, Leak back in 2006 and I come to the same conclusions there; Sensitive Chaos creates flowery experimental music with a minimalist approach which allows dressing its musical structures of different variations and instrumentations. Pleasant compositions which are listening very well and shelter nice melodies here and there.


Sylvain Lupari (2011)
Cet article est disponible en Fran├žais sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream
: http://www.gutsofdarkness.com/god/objet.php?objet=14505

You can view a video of Seeker After Patterns, here on YouTube:

Here's Sensitive Chaos website: http://sensitivechaos.com/

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