pinkcourtesyphone is not necessarily the softer side of Richard Chartier, quite the contrary. Don’t let the feminine mystique and hex-toned cover fool you, this is the funkier (though not so much here), more melodic alter ego of the man behind the Line imprint. The ep is a spin-off of his 2017 Indelicate Slices (Room40) album. And the three tracks running at about 24 minutes here are a sleight-of-hand foil on the former release, opening with Romantic Threat (original & overextended). Ethereal, cinematic, it’s an underwater ballet for the ghosts of sunken luxury liners. The nearly fourteen minute work is fueled with a certain level of fleeting emotion oft hinted at by Chartier, but realized in this ‘pink’ format. It’s moody, drone-filled without as much structure and restraint as his other work – yet he remains fully in control of these gorgeous gauzy layers, that are draped like a sweeping red velvet stage curtain, opening and closing in slow motion. Yes, that sweet sense of elegance at play. But just like that curtain, it conceals something that we only get sneak peek glances of intermittently, a time-released teaser.
At under two minutes Travelogue is the connective tissue between the trio here. More insect-like than anything else in its chordal structure that grows, building on a cicadian atonality. It comes and goes rather quickly in order to make room for Palepalmdeathpalimsest which is by far the sleeper piece on the recording. Though it balances an earthy sensibility with a revved engine ready to take flight, it lays clear an enigmatic path.
The background drone could be a jet engine, or is it a large stadium crowd, or further, maybe it’s Mother Nature’s gentle wrath at work. It’s haunting mid-tone ambient texture is covered with a windscreen effect that is keeping the noise out, but near its breaking point. Ghostly howls are exquisitely woven into the mix like dying cries for help. Everything is shaded, dissipating like a fine mist. The ‘threat’ is real + it’s out now!