Thursday, September 15, 2005

After The Kitten Gig We Talk To Chymera

For years the Dublin axis that is Wealans, Hot-Press and Phantom FM have spoon-fed the tastes of the indie rock hordes in a marriage of convenience that sees singer-songwriters and anything Frames-esque rise into the sort of home spun heroes that every sauve fresher from down the country just has to buy into. Much else is left behind. Lacking any such monolithic axis of cultural filtration, in the world of Dublin electronic where just about everyone is a producer, its hard to separate the chaff. But the recommendations of friends and the free availability of live sets and tracks on sites such as www.invisibleagent.com, can lead to the uncovering of some gems.

One of these being the Cork born Brendan Gregoriy, who delivers lushly layered techno and electro sound-scapes under the Chymera moniker. Some of his Electric City sets you leave you grimacing with suspense, or that elated but fearful feeling of returning home on the first Luas just as paranoia from the party the night before builds in the back of your mind. It's the aural equivilent of staring out the window on a rain splattered day. He weaves samples from Tool over layered beats that induce mode changes as a silent contemplation shimmers along before pulsating hints of electro break over the top to carry you to a rushy dawn. The chimera, a mythical Grecian creature assembled from various animal limbs is an apt metaphor for the muli-layered sampling of his work.The Twelve Monkeys Theme, even the whirring first seconds of synth on the MacGyver theme are thrown in alongside odd time changes, the quavering melodies and an almost acoustic percussion to fuel wonderfully textured layers. This style has led many, like Hot Press, rushing to heap Orbital comparisons on him. “Strangely enough” he admits, “I don't even own a single orbital track or album. in fact I couldn't name a tune. but a few people have commented on similarities, and its very possible that there are, but if so, they are purely coincidental.”

His recent Iterate Recordings release Everybody Dies...Including Horses is a complex emotionally, charged one that sees old material from past Dublin Electronic Art Festival (DEAF) compilations, alongside what Gregoriy considers to be the finest tracks of the past two years worth of production. Amazingly while live standouts like “Hearts In Atlantis” make it on, there's so much quality material that sensory pleasure-dome gems like “Bubblebath” and thumping electro beasts like “Paloozah” have just been dumped. The album title hints at the quiet truth of shattered innocence butactually came from a line in an underrated, ill-fated tv show called 'the tick', based on a comic of the same name.” Chymera seems to bore of his music easily, and is always trying to push it forward. “I like to keep my sets as fresh as possible. chances are if it's a track you know, then its already been caned by myself in many sets previous, and I'm just not interested in playing it every time. but that doesn't mean I won't play it again.”

With that attitude and a link on the Chymera site leading you to the homepage of Tool, where nu-metal meets Radiohead it becomes more difficult to label him. His set last week in support of Miss. Kitten veered totally from what regulr fans may expect but he felt it went “surprisingly well in fact. The first half of my set was quite minimal, but minimal melodic, which is probably my favourite style at the moment. The melodies always go down well at a wide variety of gigs (bar banging outdoor raves!) It's always a good sign when you can pull something like that off. When I dropped in my own productions that I played on CD, the tracks got exceptionally good reactions, which is inspiring and humbling. And also a sign of a great crowd - they will dance and appreciate any good music, whether they're familiar with it or not.”

The Kitten set had left some grumbling, with the obvious highlight a Prodigy track feeding into Aphex Twin's “Windowlicker.” The way Chymera saw it : “to be honest, I saw her first at Sonar 2 years ago and she rocked. She totally captured the spirit of the moment. The 2 times I've seen her since then, she's never quite lived up to my expectations. The atmosphere was electric in the music centre though. Also she will forever be associated with The Hacker and Felix the Housecat, through her collaborations. Both part of the uber-trendy, electro-clash scene, which does pull in the 'trendy' crowd, most of whom wouldn't be seen at normal techno events. I think it's good though, because in fairness she exposed them to some decent techno and electro and they did all seem to enjoy it.” So after the piece of wonder that is Everybody Dies...Even Horses where can we expect Chymera to take us next? “My future endeavours promise to be radically different”. Here's looking forward to that.

Chymera's Everybody Dies...Including Horses is available in these Dublin shops: city discs, selectah, freebird, spindizzy, road records, tower and in cork: plugd. it is also available online from www.roadrecs.com and coming soon, the invisible agent shop at www.invisibleagent.com. See www.chymera.org for more info and live mixes etc.

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