Chamber Music
label: weightless

production: blueprint

guests: vast aire, aesop rock, illogic, windnbreeze
year of release: vast aire, aesop rock, illogic, windnbreeze
1. Enter
2. Mr. Hyde
3. Mission Statement
4. Starch
5. My Melody
6. Small World, Big Plans feat. Vast Aire
7. Behave Yourself
8. Hot Sex
9. Encounter feat. Aesop Rock
10. Arms Too Short
11. Sacrifice feat. Illogic
12. Full Moon
13. Pendulum Master feat. Windnbreeze
14. Exit
With rappers basically running out of new things to say, and labels like Ninja Tune, Warp and Mush showing that instrumental music can be oh so beautiful and oh so exciting, it's no surprise that people previously known for providing the boom and the bap for emcees, kick them out the studio, lock the door and let their music speak in many and one universal language.
And yes, everybody showed up. Everybody. What makes this record somewhat of a consolation If you followed what people wrote about Blueprint, you must have heard of this project "Chamber Music". The buzz has been out for quite a while, with this record not being out for quite a while. But now it is. And as the "Enter" Intro says, this is Blueprint at his 'more experimental.' Whatever that means is that things are often instrumental and considering his other stuff that itself is an experiment. But also what he has done is different.
The stuff that he does for an Illogic or a Greenhouse Effect is usually loop based. This album is much more than that. His loops never were simple, there was always more going on than just a "get five seconds from any old dodgy funk or jazz record and let it take you to the sunset." This still goes further though. So far that it's impossible to go into everything in a more or less short review. And what's happening on "Hot Sex" you better hear for yourself too.
One example of more experimentation appears on the first song: "Mr. Hyde". With many 'world music' instruments whose name we probably don't know or cannot properly pronounce, the song progresses. It settles at times, supposedly found its rhythm, only to a new voice - i.e. instrument - appearing, adding another shade to the initial starting hue. That makes it impossible, or at least incredibly hard, for a rapper to rhyme over these types of compositions. But as Blueprint writes in the cover: "I did not make this record for rappers to rap to."
You can hear that in every song - so again on "My Melody". Every song apart from the ones that actually have a rapper rap to 'em. Those rappers are either guests or Blueprint himself, as on "Mission Statement". And listening to this song, you can hear an immediate difference in the structure of it, compared to the structure of the song before it. And once again you are made to see how Blueprint is just as good a rapper as producer, even though his intense, high pitched style can get demanding with time. At least if that's not your thing. Quite telling is the way this song slowly comes to an end. Like a big ocean liner, who has to stop all engines miles before entering a port, because it just takes that long to stop, this song goes and goes before it finally breathes its last breath.
As for the other rappers on here, they are a hand picked bunch other producers would kill to just have one of 'em on their releases. It's Vast Aire ("Small World, Big Plans"), Aesop Rock ("Encounter"), Illogic ("Sacrifice") and Windnbreeze ("Pendulum Master"). While "Encounter" is definitely the standout cut amongst this list. Aesop only starts to rap many minutes into the song and he sounds very good over this beat. And he sounds comfortable; not forcing himself, the lyrics streaming and bursting out of him. "Pendulum Master" is even more of an epic piece, with Windnbreeze almost getting lost in the seven plus minutes, within all the different instruments, the changes, the birds and pianos and electronic sounds.
But it would not be right and against all intentions if the songs with rhymes would carry away all the attention. There's too much on here that deserves focus, moments of sitting down and following wherever the records carries you to. Be it on the more relaxed "Starch", that turns into a cheesy and romantically mushy corny twin of itself in part two. Or on the similar but better "Behave Yourself", which is as ironically humorously titled as you can get. This is one of those where you can loose yourself in, where the music sounds like clouds that can embrace you and all that other journalistic nonsense. It's just a very plush song in all the best meanings of the description.
Nowadays there's no record everybody will like. This is not gonna change that fact. Heck, you might as well argue that this record will show who's really into music, who's really a smart little feller, and who just pretends to be. You must not hesitate to scratch your head after an "Arms Too Short". But continue to listen. Don't just skip away; "I don't get it." Blueprint does not hand to mouth feed you his music. You either get it yourself or you'll not get it at all.
review: tadah
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