When Italian electronic producer Dario Tronchin first emerged under his Chevel alias back in 2008, he was initially associated with the more minimal end of the European techno scene, but he’s spent the ensuing decade breaking down and rearranging and rearranging his tracks into unpredictable and fractured structures. In more recent years he’s been increasingly associated with the ‘weightless’ sound crafted by the likes of Lee Gamble and Actress, an area that this fourth album ‘Always Yours’ on Mumdance and Logos’ Different Circles label continues to explore.
The glitchy, clicks and cuts aesthetic of Chevel’s preceding ‘Blurse’ album is definitely evident amongst these nine tracks, but there’s an increased sense of bass presence and muscularity to the stripped down arrangements. ‘One Evening In July’ provides an ambient opening that gently stirs into life as reverbed out splashing rhythms intersect with crystalline synth pads, in some senses providing a deceptively idyllic intro to the harder textures that follow.
‘The Call’ sets a rapid-fire tattoo of snares that almost sound like they’re shearing to pieces against an urgently bleeping alarm pulse and looming sub-bass undertones, the entire track seeming to shift gear constantly as new rhythmic layers drop in and out of mix, the emergence of glimmering melodic sequences near the end stopping things from veering too far into darkness.
By contrast, ‘Bullet’ is a menacing stalker of a track, sending hard edged snare rolls skittering against ominously swelling pools of sub-bass pressure as an eerie minor key melody floats out amidst the grinding industrial textures, in what’s easily one of the most post-dubstep moments to be found here.
‘Dem Drums’ meanwhile follows a similarly doomy path as fuzzed out synth bursts ooze and contorted against jarring brittle rhythms that suggest a malfunctioning mechanism as vast sub-bass pulses loom like icebergs in the background, before ‘Always Yours’ sees cut-up fragments of soul vocals fluttering against an arrhythmically shifting backdrop of tinny-sounding kicks and hazily phased synths, resulting in a fusion that’s alternately lulling and jarring. While it seems initially austere and slightly impenetrable, this album really begins to unfurl its many layers on repeat listening.