Monday, May 7, 2007

Chapterhouse - Blood Music

Year: 1993
Genre: Shoegazer

Highlight Tracks: "Don't Look Now", "Everytime",
"Deli", "Love Forever"

This album brings a smile to my face everytime I listen to it. It is a great combination of shoegazer, pop, and emerging 90's electronica. While their first album Whirlpool is a better straight-up shoegazer affair (with better singles), Blood Music offers up such a joyous combination of styles that I personally like it better.

Something about the carefree attitude of the band in cherry-picking elements from several genres is really refreshing. On Blood Music Chapterhouse are truly inspired in their attempt to carve out a sound of their own; something at the crossroads of genres that hadn't been really heard before. Many shoegazer bands eventually evolved into electronica later in life (see Seefeel, The Telescopes, etc.) ending up radically different from their original sound. Chapterhouse on the other hand incorporated electronica into their lush guitar thing rather than opt for it over the shoegazer elements that made them (semi)-famous. The product is this excellent album.

Blood Music plays like a lush dream. It alternates 'high-def cumulonimbus on crisp blue skies' day-dreaming with 'half-buzzed sunglasses at night hunting for an after-hours bunker party in England' cool. It's real 'watch the streetlights reflect on the cab windows on the drunk ride home' music.

Which is probably why the album inspired so many imaginative remix projects. The American pressing includes a second disc that features two remixes of "We Are The Beautiful" and two b-sides: "Frost" and the collosal jam "Picnic". The UK pressing features the invincible Global Communications remixing the entire album on a molecular level (I'll be giving that bonus disc its own much-deserved entry at a later date).

Had the chance to see Chapterhouse at the old 930 Club on the Blood Music tour and didn't go. Still kicking myself over that one.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Man I forgot all about Chapterhouse, have to have a long overdue listen!

Philip said...

Under rated, gone too fast--and burned so hot they self combusted--fizzled out rather like Ride Though I will admit I still have Ride albums--chapterhouse got lost in the shuffle, and now most of it's out of print isn't it?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your kind words, I think you summed up our spirit for the album very well. Cheers Andy Sherriff