♫♪  Chemtrails - “Demo 1 [Excerpt]”

To say that the music Jeff Host makes under the Chemtrails moniker “bridges the gap” between the contemporary experimental techno circuit and the institution of modular synthesis is to suppose that such a gap exists. Over the course of the last half-decade, Host and contemporaries like John Elliott and Brett Naucke have all but erased the distinction between the academic and DIY realms, conjuring seemingly randomized expanses of hi-fi alien tones and abstracted grooves from tangles of modules and cables scrutable only to the minds that patched them — all from the comfort of their own home studios. As the informal Cleveland <→ Chicago network of midwest synth scientists continues to evolve before our eyes (see also: Bee Mask, Quicksails), we can check in with Host’s developing practice in the form of the forthcoming Destiny Demos, due this month via Sam Goldberg’s Centre label.

Dial into the sinuous waveform “Demo 1 (Excerpt)” to hear Host temper a steady pulse with a lattice of syncopated bleeps and modular moans. Rough low end textures abut crisp clicks somewhere behind the pounding bass drum mantra. Immaculate synth tones swirl together in a light haze of reverb. Central elements of his system remain stubbornly rooted to the spot, while subtle rhythmic flourishes provide forward motion. The two minute sample cuts off too soon to let the zone fully envelop us. Grab the tape from Centre to visit Host’s workshop for the long term — or spring for the full batch, stacked heavy with new tapes from Cleveland legends Prostitutes (James Donadio) and Khaki Blazer (Pat Modugno) and a collab from Chicago fixtures Alex Barnett and Andy Ortmann.

• Centre: http://centrecentrecentre.blogspot.com

Chocolate Grinder

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.

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