26 Feb 2013

Drowned in Sound give Gnod's Chaudelande a 9/10 review

"I miss having neighbours.

Houses in my part of the world aren't on streets, but in residential areas. Identical homes sit in tight clusters, sharing walls, lawns, and, much to the discontent of some, parking spaces.

I used to have the worst neighbours - the sound system in my room leaned against the wall of their bedroom which meant they enjoyed every drop of the bass dripping out of my speakers. They never complained.

I took this as an insult. My music wasn't melodious - it wasn't meant for upper middle-class Indian families with S-class Mercedeses in the driveway. The music I listen to is CHALLENGING and RAW and NOISY and NOT-FOR-EVERYONE. In any case, even if it happened to be elevator jazz, didn't I deserve the satisfaction of troubling my neighbours at three in the morning?

They've moved now and the houses on either side of me are vacant. The teenagers who used to live across the road are now 20-somethings trying to get MBAs and no longer holding any bhangra-soundtracked parties I can outloud. And at this inopportune time I meet Gnod. I turn Gnod up, I feel the floor sway and the walls dance, and I sigh despondently as I realise Chaudelande would have achieved the duality necessary to truly enjoy an album. There is no pleasure without pain, no love without neutrality, and no record truly enjoyable unless there's someone it can perturb.

But that's all right - Chaudelande bears repeating. That's why it's being re-released in the blasphemous digital format that does away with the 'two-volume' bit of the two-volume vinyl, and allows remotely located plebs like me to access it AND THEN, can you believe it, comment on its quality.

I'm not even going to try.

Chaudelande is what it is - it asks questions and doesn't expect answers ('Visions of Load'). It contemplates the brutality of existence by the shore of an increasingly aggressive ocean (the ocean is made of chainsaws) ('Tron'). Its mantras are compelling enough to raise the dead ('The Vertical Dead' - go figure)and mock them ('I'm here in person!'). When you find yourself in the depths of despair, Chaudelande is frustration, hope and the clarity of your own spirit ('Man on a Wire'). Chaudelande is...

(looks like I'm trying)



See the review in full here: DIS