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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

SENSITIVE CHAOS: Remembering Chestnuts, Icy Cold, and Bells (2011)

Updated: Jul 8, 2021

This is a hallucinating journey into the wonderful, musical world of the glockenspiels

1 Remembering Chestnuts, Icy Cold, and Bells 6:24

2 Ceiliúradh Mhór 3:12

3 Winter Winds across the Heartland 5:01

4 Spirit of the Season 4:34

5 Carillon et le Champagne 12:52

6 Remembering Chestnuts, Icy Cold, and Bells (Prologue) 6:52

7 Remembering Chestnuts, Icy Cold, and Bells (Reprise) 4:42

8 Nightshift at the Baby Mecha Nursery (remastered) 7:56

(CD/DDL 51:58) (V.F.)

(Tribal ambient, glockenspiels)

As strange as it is enchanting, REMEMBERING CHESTNUTS, ICY COLD, AND BELLS is a hallucinating journey into the wonderful and musical world of the glockenspiels. A journey that goes right down to the heart of our childhood memories of Christmas Eve and holiday family gatherings, and which enchants with its winter sounds. It's an ode to winter, to its icy pleasures and to nostalgic memories that this latest opus by Jim Combs awakens. Through its chimes and tinkles as joyful as melancholic, this latest album by Sensitive Chaos wraps with a veil of prisms the forgotten memories of our tender childhood. Built on a great diversity of bells that tinkle and resonate on rhythms and ambiances at the antipodes of their essences, this is a brilliant album at the measure of the ingenuity of these musicians without borders, nor labels.

The title-track is sparkling of luminosity. On a delicate synth line that hides a discreet choir, Remembering Chestnuts, Icy Cold, and Bells awakens with soft tinkling chimes that radiate on a delicate hypnotic rhythm. Over a lively rhythm of fine percussions and an ethereal choir line, the crystalline arpeggios swirl in a winter breeze to form a strange iridescent ballet where bells tinkle and flutter among the curt chords of a cackling synth. Ceiliúradh Mhór is a superb glass ballad that swirls around a union of percussions and keyboard chords to forge a beautiful and catchy childish melody. The synth blows an enchanting chorus on this splendid carousel with the rattling of prisms which is cute and delicate as anything! Winter Winds across the Heartland is a good ambient track where the strident synth layers get intertwine in a surprising sensitivity. A nice cheerful track, Spirit of the Season offers a stronger rhythm. The percussion hammers out a muted but uplifting rhythm, while the chimes swirl around this foot-tapping rhythmic structure.

Dancing on a discreet organ-like line and percussions of a Native American tribal style, Carillon et le Champagne is pulled in a mixture of nostalgia and melancholy. On a slightly circular rhythm, the chimes draw an amazing melody with glockenspiels strikes that twirl while following an ascending curve, like in a bewitching ballet danced in a state of weightlessness. Hypnotic, because of the color and the tone of the glockenspiels, Carillon et le Champagne twists and turns in an astonishing musical vertigo where the prism sounds create an odd melody. Delicate keyboard chords leap over a synth line in the opening of Remembering Chestnuts, Icy Cold, and Bells (Prologue). These furtive chords fade into the ascension of a synth line that shifts the track into an ethereal ambience, encircled by other powerful synth lines. An ambient track with filiform synth lines that undulate in fine oscillations, it is the only track on this new Sensitive Chaos opus that does not use chimes. REMEMBERING CHESTNUTS, ICY COLD, AND BELLS ends with a track as playful as Spirit of the Season. Originally released on Sensitive Chaos' first album; Leak in 2006, Nightshift at the Baby Mecha Nursery (Remastered) is a lively track with beautiful arpeggios twirling on a rhythmic structure supported by sober percussions. On a structure as limpid as ever, that we find everywhere on this new album of Jim Combs and his accomplices of Sensitive Chaos, the rhythm is encircled with delicate chiming arpeggios that turn in a minimalist way, accentuating even more the glockenspiels that float in a good circular movement on a rhythm with juvenile intonations, describing quite well the festive and nostalgic ambiences that circulate in REMEMBERING CHESTNUTS, ICY COLD, AND BELLS.

Sylvain Lupari (October 4th, 2011) ***½**

Available at Sensitive Chaos

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