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John Chantler’s recorded works for electronics are a dichotomy. Each of his editions, whilst entirely refined and composed, maintain a distinct sense of experimentation. Chantler’s willingness to forgo the familiar in favour of the unknown or the unexpected has become a recurrent methodology which has resulted in a body of work that is simultaneously united and sprawling.
Tomorrow Is Too Late typifies this dichotomy. Across each of the long-form pieces he brings together unexpectedly vibrant sonic materials that converge and occupy attention with a dynamic intensity that exceeds all of his previous offerings. Rather than considering dynamics purely in terms of amplitude, Chantler uses frequency as means for creating elegant moments where stability is removed and we, as listeners, are left to find our own way amidst the towering, complex patterns he devises.
The record also maintains a surrealist sensibility; audio hallucinations manifest, buried within the acoustic substrata. Voices, submerged within electronics hint at some imagined place. They bubble away at the very threshold of audibility. Similarly, stacked oscillating tones create hazy acoustic visions that suggest concrète landscapes, a nod to the storied history of the INA GRM studio.
Tomorrow Is Too Late resolves a great many of John Chantler’s interrogations into sound. It also opens a new chapter for his work, an aesthetic deepening that is sure to sustain him for many years to come. The album comes in a matte laminate, monochrome printed heavy jacket.