Chandeen — Teenage Poetry
(Projekt 214, 2008, CD)
by Paul Hightower, Published 2008-10-01
The Projekt label has been searching beyond US shores for new groups to host on their label, one example being Chandeen from Germany. This trio was formed around keyboard player / programmer Harald Löwy and includes Mike Brown on synths, guitar, and programming and new singer Julia Beyer of Technoir. The bulk of the album – Chandeen’s first in four years – consists of dreamy and lazily atmospheric pop music built around lush keyboards (synths and piano typically) and Beyer’s vocal talents. She’s an excellent singer who has drawn comparisons to Margo Timmins of Cowboy Junkies. Guitar is a wild card on the songs, ranging from acoustic strumming to cavernous electric melodies to Frippian über-sustained buzzsaw lines. Percussion, as one might suspect, is part of where the “programming” in Löwy and Brown’s credits comes in (besides bits of audio taken from old movies) and here also the songs employ a vast array of rhythmic invention, sometimes sounding like a standard kit to something more synthetic and artificial. Albums like this are sometimes labeled “darkwave” or “heavenly voices”, but I’d hate for Exposé readers to be swayed by categorization since this is a fine collection and an excellent example of how to employ all the latest production techniques and technological bells and whistles to make relatively simple pop arrangements breathe (heavily) with life. Partly born out of the 80s alternative scene and bands like Depeche Mode, there are now dozens of groups in Europe cranking this stuff out, though few do it this well.
Related artist(s): Chandeen
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