11 October 2010

Chronik - i'm a tree (2010, Enregistrements Variables)

Enregistrements Variables is the evolution of the netlabel Camomille into a small scale label, and "I'm a tree" is their first release, by Chronik, aka Giorgos Papadopoulos, living between Athens, Greece, and Berlin.

39 minutes and 9 ambient instrumental songs (only one with female vocals). It is soft, delicate, dreamy, warm and comforting and even if he is not using exactly the same type of sounds and instruments, his productions explore the same type of space, intimacy, and ambience cherished by artists like Bexar Bexar, So Quiet or The Green Kingdom.

At times, we are close to a childhood nostalgia, in a perfected lullaby form. A few years ago, Chronik would have been tagged as indietronica / folktronica, when netlabels were all the rage. but rapidly you notice while listening that there are more dimensions like melancholy, a sense of nuance, a will of depth when this genre was mostly ephemeral at first, and a delicate atmosphere of bucolic mystery (like on "Tape in my mind") and loneliness in the background.

There is even something romantic on "Bird on a tree", a spring breeze while you walk under the trees, flooded with sunlight. It is amazing how this track seems fragile at first and how it fills your whole soul if you listen to it in repeat mode.

Loss and loneliness would be reserved for "Hand Shed", a rainy melancholy, night falling on the forest, where you walk hopeless with tired legs. You feel like inside the tree, with all the weight on you, unable to move and change quickly enough to compete in life, with all despair and regrets falling on you with the next track, "Save me" and it's crystalline icy beauty of strings.

Appeasement, a few cathartic tears and a slow beating heart with the peaceful climate of "Labirinth". With the use of female vocals on "Away", the múm comparison is obvious but the intimate delicacy of his music brings to mind also the vocals Nicola Hodgkinson added to a few Remote Viewer songs.
"Counting days" looks like a childlike lullaby interlude with bells and wonder and the saxophone on "no move" is a nice breathing.

Last track of the CD, "Wear my shirt when you miss me" is also one of the most delicious, sensual and subtle, investing emotionally this space between smile and tears.

A successful debut album for both the artist and the label. "I'm a tree" leaves you with the desire to know how Giorgos Papadopoulos will develop his sensitivity through his musical future.

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