Exposé Online banner

Nicholas Chase — Bhajan
(Cold Blue CB0046, 2013/2016, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2017-02-22

Bhajan Cover art

Composer Nicholas Chase has a number of releases to his credit, but this is the first time we have reviewed any of his works at Exposé — perhaps all of those six previous-releases offer something as innovative as what’s on offer here. Bhajan is an extended four movement composition for electric violin (played by Robin Lorentz) and computer and electronics (played by Chase) that clocks in just shy of 47 minutes. In the opening movement “Bindu,” electronic sounds skitter and swirl around the electric violin which is essentially playing variations on a single note over its entire eleven minute duration, with all sound occasionally dropping to silence before the interplay of ideas returns. The electronic sounds seem to stretch the sound like elastic in numerous directions while the violin remains the static force. “Drshti” is the next movement, again with the violin expressing variations on a single note (but a different one than the previous movement), while the computer captures those live violin strokes and plays them back in processed form, sometimes at various compimentary pitches creating a melody line, and other times just a few cycles off from the original, creating a beating effect. The third movement, “Japa,” features the electronics alternating with violin in creating an other-worldly exchange of melodic ideas, and much like the first movement uses a fair amount of silent spaces to punctuate the proceedings. The closing movement is “Bhajan,” and in a way similar to the second movement, the violin’s notes (a few different ones) are captured by computer and ghosted back at different pitches, offering subtleties in articulation, dynamics and timbre combining together to produce the end result. Overall, Bhajan as a complete work is fairly captivating and interesting, though in parts it sometimes drags on a bit.


Filed under: New releases, 2016 releases, 2013 recordings

Related artist(s): Nicholas Chase

Latest news

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Steven Freeman and Alan Freeman - The Crack in the Cosmic Egg – Brothers Alan and Steve Freeman have been long time fans of Krautrock etc. as well as record shop owners specializing in this and similar music, and publishers of Audion magazine. This labor of love...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues