Various – Defining Moments (Chillosophy)

Posted in Reviews 2007 by - February 22, 2007


This may well have slipped under the radar, and it’s good reason to get a bit excited. Chillosophy is the new chillout sub-label from Son Kite’s MPDQX/Digital Structures, and if you remember those staggering Chillosophy compilations from a few years back, you’ll probably know what to expect: cerebral, warming downtempo music that’s good for the head and the heart.

From the opening strains of Pan Electric’s Sweet As Rain, you know you’re in for a high-quality, crystalline experience. Ooze makes a welcome return – Seb Son Kite’s downtempo project – collaborating with Tishk on Random Wondrous Things. Best described as intelligent jazz-pop-hop, with vocals that sound like Martine off the early Tricky albums singing lyrics that actually contain meaning, all laid over a dubby pizzicato glitch.

Analogik’s Because is straight out of a Mediterranean beach bar, Fingertwister’s I Remember Jah is pure sparsey summer dub bliss, and Gaudi’s remix of Omnimotion’s Japan is metropolitan triphop for the manga generation.

There is a turkey on the menu: Dab Screen’s otherwise-good Keep Your Fire Burning ruined by the catty, scratchy vocals of Irina Mikhailova. I just cannot get on with this woman’s voice, and the tune’s position at track eight means forever having to get up and skip it; its effect on the album’s flow is considerable. I can’t quite put my finger on who she sounds like (Sophie Ellis-Bextor through a fuzzbox is close) but the sheer over-affectedness of the way she presents her – no doubt capable – voice, is an embarrassment.


Trotter gets things fully back on track with the dazzlingly good Kalesh: side-scrolling digidub with a great depth to the production. Kritikal Audio’s Krupp is bloody good once again, like a glitchier Bluetech and sounds that never sit still for more than a third of a second. Anders Ilar takes things further into the minimal vortex with the sublimely discordant Moments Are Too Short, and Icotec’s Relic is a shimmering example of exactly what good chillout music should be about.

With Dollboy’s Cicadas rounding off in a sparkly, can’t-believe-it’s-not-a-dream flavour, the whole package is a good one. Lose Irina and you have a perfect album; but even as things are the attention, the love, and the quality that’s behind this makes it as damn near essential as chillout releases come.   


This post was written by psyreviews