Place of Other Destination [CS; Astral Spirits]

It’s always gratifying to get an Astral Spirits product in the mail, doubly so when said product is of an even superior ilk than usual, in this case Place of Other Destination by Chatoyant. Yes, the band name has a meaning, it’s a gem, but I’m not going to try to link that to their music; I’m sick of pretending these connections exist. C-yant simply are a great improv outfit, somewhere in between Sylvester Anfang II (or one!), labelmates Shit & Shine, Houston’s Book Of Shadows, and any number of other bands releasing their wares on AS (RIP Release the Bats). What I treasure about this particular Destination is its mellow nature, each member — of which there are four — taking a less-is-more tact and reflecting the groove back to the rest of the group. Even when it seems like one of those typical improv-skronk jamz is going to light up like a candle, the blaze-to-be is, if not extinguished, whittled down to a pointed nub. Rookies looking to prove themselves can’t manage such thoughtful aural prose, and once drummer James Baljo breaks into a meandering, cutting trot that kinda swings, it’s all over. The momentum builds; the Rhodes crackles like a campfire; guitarist Matthew Smith unleashes a few of his least assuming swipes of accompaniment, and what we’ve got is a near-perfect confluence of instrumental force, converging in order to consolidate the power of the unit. That’s all you need to know; Place of Other Destination is the first I’ve heard of Chatoyant, and while that’s depressing this CAN’T be one of those groups that blows my mind then disappears. Can they? I’ll get back to you on that one. For now add this cassette to your Astral Spirits collection (You… you do have an Astral Spirits collection, don’t you?)


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