♫♪  Matchess - “The Law of Pure Will (The Lamentation of the Greatest Wealth)”

Built over the disembodied live playback of cassette tape collages and the hands-on-keys presence of a human being somewhere behind a shroud of reverb, the music that Chicago-based multi-instrumentalist Whitney Johnson makes under the Matchess moniker hovers between the realms of the earthly and the paranormal. Her arrangements simmer in a consonant haze, sketching out slow-burning rituals of juxtaposed texture: the sustained chords of an Ace Tone combo organ; the mew of catgut on viola strings; the rounded bass notes that bump their way into the mix. As these layers compound, Johnson’s voice sounds out as the human epicenter of her mixes, abstracted just beyond legibility by effect manipulation and processing.

Ahead of her forthcoming full-length Somnaphoria, due June 23 on Chicago’s Trouble in Mind Records, Matchess offers us the transportative audio/visual zone of “The Law of Pure Will (The Lamentation of the Greatest Wealth).” A suite of dynamic animations made by Chicago-based artist Jenna Caravello unfolds in time with the narcotic atmosphere, scrolling between instances of Johnson’s animated proxy gazing at the stars from a grove of plants and flashes of the cosmos themselves, rendered as oscillating fractal waves of color against the night sky. Johnson’s harmonies complicate across drifting choruses before the track swells to gorgeous heights of organ drone and viola melody — prompting Caravello’s visuals to splinter off into deeper dissociative imagery.

• Matchess: http://matchess.tumblr.com
• Trouble In Mind Records: http://troubleinmindrecs.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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