Keplar re-issues the fourth album 'Chessa' by Dan Abrams' project Shuttle358 on vinyl for the first time. The double LP edition includes 3 previously unreleased tracks from the same recording sessions back in 2004, as well as an extended artwork with unseen photographs by Dan Abrams.
While undoubtedly associated with the microsound and 'clicks & cuts' movement around the turn of the millennium, on 'Chessa' Shuttle358 left behind the classical rhythmic patterns of the genre and shifted further towards warmer territories, meandering between modern digital minimalism and the soft tones of ambient music. Counter to his microsound synthesis approach on Frame (2000), Abrams created Chessa by writing software that manipulated samples from his unreleased songs, guitar pieces, and vintage japanese films sampled from video tape. In particular, a special granulating technique was written and performed at intentionally low sample rates that gave the uniquely fragile, yet dense sound to the album. Over fourteen tracks Abrams arranges slowly evolving sonic entities of unfading elegance. Strayed and hazy melodies pulse and cascade, elongated but brittle harmonies shimmer and disappear, echoing far-off in the rounded corners of the mind. The patient and detailed way Abrams combines the broken with the beautiful in creating organic collages of sound that retain the euphonic essence of a song, makes this piece of work so powerful and timeless, sounding just as relevant today, as it did 17 years ago.
Under modern scrutiny in Abrams latest studio, he refocused the original recordings to emphasize the elements most important to the original vision. The final mastering and vinyl preparation was done in collaboration with Stephan Mathieu, vinyl was cut by LUPO.
From the original press release in 2004 by Taylor Deupree:
Without a doubt Shuttle358 has become one of the most admired artists to emerge from modern electronic music’s sea of musicians. From the humble beginnings of a demo CD in 12k’s mailbox to 4 critically acclaimed CDs, Dan Abrams is, to some, the one credited for bringing a warmth and human touch back into what has often been considered a very cold, sterile genre. It began with 1999’s Optimal.lp (12k1005), a groundbreaking debut release that immediately defined the Shuttle358 sound; a hybridization of the then-emerging “microsound” genre with Eno’s true ambient explorations. In 2000 Abrams outdid himself with Frame (12k1011) by honing his sound design and exploring production techniques at rates that made his “now” quite brief and creating what was to become one of the most sought-after CDs in the 12k catalog.
Chessa is the third release from Abrams’ Shuttle358 moniker on 12k and he continues to do what he does best: attempt to move microsound away from the world of theory and towards absolute real life. Like his photographs, Chessa is music about, and to be listened to in, unexpected places. It is a narrative, a simple slice of life that plays out through the incidental photography of the cover artwork. To achieve this Abrams fuses irregular granular sound particles, like the movements of everyday life, with a deliberate melodic base that captures emotion and simplicity.