blue four: Laurent Chambert/The Fractal Skulls

— Sold out


Laurent Chambert is a French visual artist and composer who has been creating beautiful and unusual art since 1990. His installations are playful, thought-provoking and visually-arresting. As a musician he has been involved in several acclaimed projects, the most recent of which is the electronic duo The Other Colors.

Laurent’s submission to Blue Tapes is When The Cat Is Away The Mice Will Play. In his solo work, Laurent combines field recordings with flickering patterns of electronic sound that are both grid-like and strangely euphoric. Like the brilliant Italian producer Lorenzo Senni/Stargate, some of his work almost feels like a stripped-down-to-the-bare-atoms reading of techno. At other times it feels pastoral and immersive. Always, Laurent’s music is intrinsically ‘plugged-in’ to his environment, whether it’s the bustling cityscapes of Paris described by When The Cat... or the wells of ambient silence in his improvisations recorded in the French countryside.

We’ve parcelled Chambert with a similar electronic sound artist, Chris Smith of High Wycombe, England. A studio engineer by day, Chris makes delicious minimal synth-structures under the name The Fractal Skulls. Influenced by the god-twins of John Cage+Steve Reich and Cluster+Harmonia, the music of The Fractal Skulls is unashamedly pretty, full of clockwork analogue pulses and holy repetition.

Each purchase of blue four comes with a (blue) envelope containing a few sticks of nag champa, the psychoactive incense manufactured in Hindu and Buddhist monasteries that is used to enhance the meditative state.

Praise for blue four:

"Chambert's tape here is a swiftly moving collection of keyboard strategies that manifest themselves with Reichian clarity at times, and something more proggy at others. Fractal Skulls do something similar, although the initial keyboard patterns reminded me more of Philip Glass's early solo music with contempo space music highlighting. A seamless pairing of artists." - The Wire

"The Fourth instalment from Blue Tapes' ongoing delvings into the melodious pairs two like minded auteurs to produce some pretty divine outcomes...

Laurent Chambert's side starts in a lock grooved hypnosis of jazzy mirror glints. Reich tonal charges, gently tempo shunted, cut back to sift through some achingly beautiful crystals of elastic duality. Piano pulses lightly dusted in ping ponged percussion, fading slowly into watery timber creaks of oars and rumbling weather. Chord recyclings follow chased by cymbal flares, finally bowing out on the self same arpeggio(ed) dazzle of dancing fingers that started the track.

Fractal Skulls continues the vibe with an ambient sun stroked horizon entitled 'Endless 23'... A loose glitter haze, full of spiral lit curls and sequenced zest. Overlays of drifting melodica on 'Reserve Army of Labour' pursuing in gentle repeater candies and polyrhythmic milks.

Mellow dew that's well worth your attention..." - Rotten Meats