Chefkirk, Hal McGee & Ironing

Chefkirk, Hal McGee & Ironing
Hymn (CDR/DL)

The trio made up of Chefkirk (Roger H. Smith), Hal McGee & Ironing (Andrew Chadwick) are releasing a new disc under their name as a trio, two lengthy untitled experimental electronic tracks (32 mins). They break from quietude like a small woodland creature in the cragged brush in Autumn. It’s a woozy atmosphere, blending vinyl and no-input mixer constructions. This may have been from a performance, it has that ‘live’ sensibility of free improv, each allowing for the other to communicate their own sonic terminologies to and fro.

Most of this is quite paced, minimal, but there’s a ton of small, subtle (and not so) gradations packed in here. From the raking strokes to blurt-like aeration, to a seasick refrain, the three gents seem to have a lot in common with another pioneer in this area, Dan Burke (aka Illusion of Safety). The sounds of a push-button sprayer (dry cleaner, graffiti-in-progress?), and those occasional high-range frequencies make for something on tenterhooks. Not for the passive-aggressive among us.

The recording (that followed the Nimbus sessions in Florida) has a gentle honesty about it, something almost of the decline of a rural sensibility. I get the impression of being restless in a cabin somewhere a bit remote, scrambling for the basics. The coverart (Chadwick) only reinforces this, wires (or pool hose) underwater coated in birdseed in a polluted tinge of green. The entire second composition is less about ‘effects’ per se and more free style, like running through an old fashioned pantry of pots and pans and sundry items. It’s noisy unrest, not with wild abandon, but curious ’til the very last second.

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