Browsing the Chained Library

The Chained Library catalogue, thusfar….

Based out of Chicago this is one library that I’m now a card-carrying member, and so you should consider. Now, this is not really a library in the traditional sense, and no card is necessary, but what you can check out, even if limited in stock as of yet (they’ve only been dba since ’14), is well worth your visit to the Chained Library. Yes, they are on Bandcamp, but if you are a collector of either wax platters or spools of cassette tape, you will want to give these guys a few moments (or many more) of your listening time.

Fortunately word-of-mouth still carries weight these days, and though I can’t remember who how I was aimed in their direction, they keep things simple and custom made, limited in nature, and minimalist – all powerful appeals to these pages. Their most recent release is the 12″ by Thought Broadcast called Abduction. The blend of bells tolling, industrial whir, and a shroud of secrecy makes for a deeply exciting listen. The vibration of drone and the pure physicality of the cyclical grinding makes for its own mythology. These sound like some kind of communication done through some sort of transmission technique, though its seems ancient, as if scrawling upon large slab boulders. A clandestine affair for the senses.

Then there’s Co-habitant‘s self-titled tape. From the top this plays with separating glassy intonation. It’s quite sweeping and isolated, sounding youthful in its approach. a.003 reminds me of a carnival merry-go-round, spinning in colorful merriment, its occupants losing a bit of a sense of gravity. The electronics here are mellow but hint at what’s to come. Further in you will experience animated tones, like a grown-up version of a Speak n’ Spell toy, though it’s bright and light it remains keyed-in to a certain repetitive hypnosis. By employing some tape/vinyl crackle it plays on structural, meta microsounds.

Though there are a few additional releases to pull from the shelves to analyze further, I am ending here with the most fervently experimental electronic pieces in their collection by Eliza B.C. Also self-titled this record serves up some rubbery rasp and other moderated, modulated mutations. If someone told me that this was a lil’ gem dug up circa ’79-’81 I might believe them. It’s got a certain darkness that was present at the advent of the fusion of punk rock, new wave, disco and experimental music. Slightly veering from the rails on A2 there’s a snarl of GameBoy simplicity built-in. But this is not at all candy-coated, it has the warped underground flavor that needs time to steep. Once flipped you’d swear you were listening to drunken outtakes by Morphine, one of the more interesting experimental jazz outfits of the past few decades. It’s good and it’s bad, to the bone.

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