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Chora - The Baptist Grip

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Artist: Chora

Album: The Baptist Grip

Label: Singing Knives

Review date: Apr. 3, 2007

This is the sound of 30 greasy fingers getting down to the nitty-gritty. Assimilating drone, hazy fuzz and ligament-loosening meditative vibrations, these seven pieces teeter, but never tumble into the formless squall that plagues (or defines, depending on who you ask) the drone/noise/free/DIY community.

With the UK’s inner cities currently going through a burst dam outpouring of the stuff, Chora still haven't penned or pasted together a breakout release. This mysterious ex-Sheffield trio’s handful of split releases and 3” CD-Rs have so far failed to make a definitive stand, opting instead to demonstrate the breadth of their sound. Following in the Godzilla-sized footprints of Vibracathedral Orchestra,The Baptist Grip mimics the freedom of that spun-out collective, though Chora stop short of following Neil Campbell off the proverbial cliff. The whispered feedback and undulating outros also bring to mind a stripped-down Double Leopards.

From the bizarre British pastorals on “Hours" to the contact mic chicanery on “Bison Grass,” these guys are shaping a very definite something from nothing. If the title track’s three minute descent is anything to go by, then Chora's chops are in-line to soon match their peers. The song eschews simple layering, instead burrowing into the sine brine, thick with coenobite chain chimes and singing saws. They tend to cling to certain motifs a bit too tightly, as some of the tracks here blend together (and not in the good way). But the devotion to texture and abstract percussion here is unlike most the music on the periphery the drone world.

By Scott McKeating

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