Donor Lens - Desire Path
May 6, 2022
Whettman Chelmets’ The Rain, The Pour begins with a rousing bass drum rhythm pushing forward a shroud of dissonant sound and a pulsating bass line. The impulsive brevity at which he works from the very start is indicative of the inspiration for the trio of songs as a whole, a desire to distract from the evolving global pandemic. Surround Me with Songs of Deliverance blooms as strings begin to stretch out from underneath the muddy layer of sound. The artist introduces a hi-hat sound appearing on the offbeat, creating an undeniably rhythmic quality in the song, though the beautiful waves of noise that can be heard on Whettman Chelmet’s recent work is still very much the main artery of the track. The noise of strings is muddied by what sounds like torrential rain, it feels as though the listener looks up into a streetlight and is seeing lashings of droplets cascading down through the warm light.
My Presence will Go with You brings the listener into a dreamlike social space. Muffled voices push through a gauze of cloudy feedback. An uplifting and tinny piano riff plays out, aching in its delivery as it fights against crackling noise. Again, the feeling illustrated is one of optimism, albeit amidst a sinister atmosphere of discordant noise. Deep noises rumble somewhere deep underneath the floorboards of the mix briefly, before disappearing. Wheeling euphoria begins to appear from over the horizon of the mix, seemingly signalling to the triumphant piano loop that stands beside the listener. The euphoric chorus is short and we end with the main melody, as Whettman conjures epic sonic narratives in a very short time frame.
My Hiding Place brings that classic roar of sublimity that is so easily associated with the artist. Guitar tones spring from an infinite distance, twirling into the air above the listener in trails of sound. A bass drum beats slowly as the atmosphere begins to reveal itself. Low guitar notes noodle timidly, as sweeps of echoing notes wash over the mix. Much like in the first track, the unrelenting beat serves to move this heavy mesh of sound forwards through the track rather than just letting it seep through unrestrained. Twinkling shards of eeriness begin to emanate from the wall of noise as Whettman Chelmets pulls in darker undertones in this third and final song. Each note washes over us like gossamer, apparent and audible but ghostly all at the same time.
In this short, three-track excursion Whettman tinges his usual style with the capricious moods of Covid-19 lockdown. What starts as a generally positive sounding project, ends in screeching echoes and a feeling of dread. The collection of songs is enriching for the listener, and finds the artist pushing his fascinating walls of euphoria into different sonic situations ensuring a feeling both unique and stylistic.