Tuesday 2 May 2017


This track is interesting in that it plays like a deconstruction of an original song into what might be argued to be its most memorable parts. Or rather, not memorable, but its most elementary components. We have the tumbling metallic slapped bass, flute synth scorching like a melted sunset, we have vocal fragments, faded keyboard synths. All of these, together, differentiating in melody, rhythm, these create a song. But what Star Chambers does here instead is leave them as extracts of the essence of a song, using them as building blocks to assemble the fragmentary retro dream that is 'Material Nostalgia'.

The sound is essentially compartments of sound interspersed with silence, over into which that bass, the vocal samples, the reverb from these noises, spills and fades into the quiet, creating an instantly dynamic soundscape where each break in audio is cushioned with warm whispers of reverberation, and where each node of noise is sharpened by the spaces between. At 01:00 the beat rolls in, thudding kicks, sword-from-a-sheath hi-hat, popping snare, disappearing between 02:24 and 03:12 where a new vocal hits rhythmically, pans left and right, a breathy almost alien section in the song that soon takes us back to sunny swagger of the beat. A retro reverie, and an exercise in what actually constitutes a song – simply the rhythmic placement of musical elements on a soundless backdrop – 'Material Nostalgia', if its title is anything to go by, plays on ideas of nostalgia, and how it can be summoned into our consciousness with just sub-second-long slices of sound.

  • πŸ”” You can go listen to 'I Was Born Twenty Years Too Late', which you can also purchase for $1000. It's the first release from upcoming album Material Nostalgia, out sometime this year digitally and on cassette, too.
  • πŸ”” Does the name Star Chambers refer to the English court that existed at Westminster from the 15th to the 17th century? Who can say. More likely it comes from the related modern meaning of "legal or administrative bodies with strict, arbitrary rulings and secretive proceedings"—that's from Wikipedia.

Star Chambers Internet Presence ☟

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