CHRISTOPHER CHAPLIN: Je Suis Le Ténébreux 2xLP/CD Fabrique Records
This is Chaplin’s first full solo album, after working with a number of collaborators over the years. Combining a number of experimental sounds created from classical instrumentation, this release is a cacophony of madness from the off; and to the untrained ear, you could be forgiven for becoming somewhat thrown by the jumbled nature of this album.
However, on the odd occasion there is much to praise, such as the smattering of operatic vocals that cut their way through ‘Aelia Laelia’; and the wonderful washes of piano that interweave amongst tumbling strings at various intersections throughout the release.
This is one of those albums that I could love to hate if left in its company for too long. There is much on here that detracts from the obvious talents that Chaplin possesses; and more often than not, when an artist becomes so wrapped up in their experimental obsessions, the music itself suffers somewhat.
‘Je Suis Le Ténébreux ‘, I appreciate, is an album that will appeal to a fair few people out there; and Chaplin’s wealth of experience does shine through enough to appreciate his strengths, over his self-imposed weaknesses. This is one of those difficult albums that highlight great musicality, overburdened with an obsession to be obscure.