Album Review

Charles-Eric Charrier – Silver (Experimedia, 2011)

Charles-Eric Charrier12 From

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What’s the world coming to when it takes a guy like me 3 years to review a release on Experimedia? Shameful, I know. Well, it’s time for that to change because this label is consistently killing it with the most awesome freshness in cool shit. And Charles-Eric Charrier is the first in hopefully many more, because this dude has got something special goin on.

Charrier is one half of MAN along with Rasim Biyikli, and he’s done a thousand and one collaborations with every cool cat around. Silver has him taking a beautiful blend of psych & free jazz, creating a hypnotic and constantly morphing spiral of jams. The opening track is prime Western groove material, with dusty percussion that skitters like tumbleweeds and meandering guitars set in slow riffs getting their buzz & grit on under wide open blue skies.

The second piece is more evil, a possessed hermit whipping out his busted vintage synths & radio transmitters, making swampy electro drones and garbled alien space blasts, all while some mad genius in the back swaggers on the drum kit. A fucking journey and a half, going places I didn’t know existed with mournful trumpets and stuttering guitars, back and forth unsettling tension and smoothed out relaxing tones.

And that’s just the A side, from there it goes in all directions jazzier, noisier, etc, etc. It gets more frantic, numerous staggered layers of piano, acoustic guitar, electronics, and hidden percussion, slowed down single bass strings resonating with fluttering Americana, lush cymbals & dry shakers, hollow toms chugging down the railroad, steel plucking in the heat of the night, blistering battles of scratching stars & bats terrorizing the valley, the kind of jazziness that’s right up my alley aka not too heavy on the jazz.

Silver is definitely a winner on all accounts. Charrier’s got some twisted vision of contemporary free jazz that I’ve yet to see elsewhere and I’m all for it because this record is fuckin HOT. Some seriously top notch shit, obviously it should’ve been called Gold.