Chill

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Chill

Code Indigo remain one of the most critically acclaimed, yet criminally underrated and commercially ignored electronic rock bands of the past decade. But with a steadily increasing global fan base, and awards from electronic and classic rock circles, they continue to release albums of staggering  creativity and off the wall ingenuity that leave most of their contemporaries far behind.

Chill is the fourth studio album and continues to expand upon the rich vein of exploration now established, utilizing varied rhythmic textures, massed banks of keyboards, spoken samples and the extraordinary guitar of Andy Lobban.

Chill is a powerful and thought provoking topical musical statement – a subtle “eco” album, with samples and spoken voice seamlessly and subliminally leaving the listener to ask the questions.

“Autumn Fades” and “Chill” provide down tempo moments early on, and the album picks up pace with “Ten Degrees per Second” and “Back with the Weather” culminating in the strident “Cultures” and the epic “Lost Radio” with its poignant finale, all featuring strong musical themes, inventive electronic textures and superb keyboard and guitar interplay. With occasional breaks into orchestral territory the album retains both an energy and a creative edge that offers up more than just a few surprises along the way. A monumental release.

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Reviews

  1. Ross McGibbon – Vanguard.com

    Review by Ross McGibbon – Vanguard.com

    Ooo, this takes me back. Grandly sweeping progressive rock of the European kind. It’s a big sounding landscape of textures, many of them keyboard-shaped, that float and massage the tired mind. There is a great deal of soaring guitar lines, wringing out long, limpid, languid tones of the sort that longer, mid-period Pink Floyd favoured. In fact a good bit of the guitar style reminded me of what David Gilmour gets up to, left to his own devices. At times a vaguely eastern-sounding woman’s voice provides a wailing counterpoint to guitar chops or gently howling solos. With washes of choral-type keys, watercolour tones and occasionally trippy beats, occasionally even-paced ballad beats, the full hour and a quarter long album melded into a whole.

    That’s to say I’d be pushed to name a tune or song (and there are some proto-songs, made of samples and speech) but the whole thing gave me that sonic mind-rub that I reach for once in a while and might well grace an aging hippy’s living room as well as the Ipod of some Full Moon raver on Ko Phan Ghan in Thailand.

    This is the sort of thing that pretty much isn’t cool over here (unless it’s dressed up as Enigma-type party come-down / chillout fodder) but goes down a storm in Europe. There is a grand theme of eco-fear but it pretty much washes over with the laid back sculptures and atmosphere. There was time, when I believed that cool existed, when I’d detested the very concept of this but now I see the real art in its creation and have no shame in just enjoying it for what it is to me – a decoration of my space.

  2. CDS

    Review by CDS

    This is one of the year’s big releases for not one, but two music genres, because ‘Chill’ is a real crossover classic!

    It takes a complete listen to provide an overview of what it’s all about, and the first thing to say is that it’s another epic – nearly seventy-seven minutes long – but an epic that is just SO good. Secondly, like the recent AD Music albums ‘Signal To The Stars’ by Callisto, and ‘Deeper’ by David Wright, Chill is an album of genuine music quality, accessibility, writing & arranging with the ability to produce predominantly synth-based music that “relates’ as much, if not more, to the likes of early Mike Oldfield and mid-seventies Pink Floyd, as it does to the “greats” of the Electronic Music world.

    So, what you have here is the quartet of David Wright, Robert Fox, Dave Massey and, most crucially, Andy Lobban on lead and rhythm guitars. I say “most crucially” for, although this is a keyboards dominated album, the guitar work is what gives it that all-important extra-special ingredient, and the reason you hark back to the classic work of Oldfield and Floyd.

    The opening track sets the scene for, and the flavour of this album to perfection, with its gorgeous but strong synth moods and the soaring electric guitar work, giving the whole thing very much of a ‘Wish You Were Here’-era Floyd feel, but with so much more depth and soundscapes courtesy of the superbly emotive and melodic synth work of Fox and Wright. And what follows is absolutely spellbinding – rarely will you hear music of this quality unfold so exquisitely, and to an extent that every track carries you along with it in such a way that you listen to it as one complete piece of music with so many ideas, all perfectly executed.

    ‘Chill’ is so much more that just a “synth music” album, if fact it’s potential audience is far greater than even the largest fan-base that this genre of music can offer, spreading into the realms of “symphonic rock” and beyond. No doubt about it – ‘Chill’ really is a crossover classic!

  3. Synthopia

    Review by http://www.synthopia.com

    Chill is the latest CD from Code Indigo, a collaboration between David Wright and Robert Fox. Both artists work in various combinations with others and in solo formats, but have an ongoing relationship as a new age / ambient / space rock group as Code Indigo.

    On this album, Wright & Fox are joined by Dave Massey (production, rhythm and bass programming) and Andy Lobban (lead and rhythm guitars). The addition of Lobban makes this collection different from other Code Indigo releases, with guitars placed front and center on many tracks.

    Chill is an excellent collection of downtempo numbers. The tracks have the haunting appeal of early Pink Floyd and Vangelis’ work for Blade Runner. Filtered vocals frequently burble around the mix, and echo effects take sounds from left to right speakers.
    Throughout the CD, the synthesizer work is great, moving from ambient effects to melodic space music seamlessly. Lobban’s guitar work adds an emotional pull to the melodies and a sense of restrained power.

    Highlights of the CD are Chill, a beautiful mellow track that backs a new age piano solo with gorgeous airy synth orchestration; Vapour Tales, which has a murky Blade Runner feel to it; and the excellent Culture Shift, which combines sampled “found sounds”, world instruments, tasty synth work and ambient guitar effects. Code Indigo also uses several melodies as recurring themes throughout the CD, and a consistent sound palette, giving the CD a nice sense of continuity.

    Code Indigo’s ‘Chill’ is a great collection of synth music that should appeal to fans of new age, ambient and space rock.

  4. Sequences, UK

    “A ‘Must Have’ album for lovers of moody EM” (Sequences, UK)

  5. Mike V (USA fan)

    “Wow! I Love it!! Beautiful music!!! Give the guys my regards on a job very well done!!” Mike V (USA fan)

  6. Tony C (UK fan)

    “Absolutely awesome – the most fantastic CD I’ve heard in years”.
    Tony C (UK)

  7. David Wright

    Chill is a “must have” album for all lovers of moody, atmospheric and melodic synth music.

    The opening track “Autumn Fades” sets the scene for the rest of the album as moody synths are overlaid with melodic piano motifs, phased keyboard lines, and electric guitar that is very reminiscant of many great Pink Floyd moments. The track gradually evolves as subtle percussive elements are added with the different layers all taking turns at being dominant, but never is this at the expense of the overall feeling and atmosphere of the music.

    “Chill”, the title track, uses similar instrumentation but with the guitar playing slightly more jazzy lines, using “Wes Montgomery” style octaves to great effect. The overall feel of the music has a more romantic feel too it but is still very moody in keeping with the albums’ theme of weather and climate change.

    “Vapour Tales”, is one of many shorter atmospheric tracks complete with voice samples that serve as linking sections between the other tracks . With “Ten Degrees Per Second” the album shifts up a gear as the percussion kicks in and you experience one of the most memorable melodic synth tracks you are ever going to hear. This was my favourite track on the whole album, and it also contains some tasty guitar riffing and soloing to boot.

    “Back with Weather Calm” is another rhythmic track with choppy guitars, melodic synths and world vocals, not unlike a less dancy Enigma, that ends on a more ambient note with more radio/TV samples. ‘Back with Weather Storm” follows in a similar vein with even stronger world vocal melodies and some strident guitar riffing overlaid with excellent synth lines as the whole track builds towards a climax.

    “Vapour” is a more atmospheric piece with piano, synth and more voice samples that brings to mind the beginning of “Blade Runner”. The track “Cultures”, again brings to mind Enigma, or Deep Forest in feeling and rhythm, with numerous world music sounds, that are allied to the usual strong melodic synth lines.

    “Culture Shift” continues the rhythmic feel of the previous track with guitar and rhythm sharing the foreground. The last four tracks make up the “Lost Radio” section of the album and are basically one piece of music in four parts,where electro-percussive rhythms combine with melodic piano and synth lines, guitar leads and voice samples to create a fairly laidback feel, with the last section ending the album on a slightly melancholic note.

    Chill is an excellent album full of melody and atmosphere and “Ten Degrees Per Second” in particular really should send shivers down your spine.
    Sequences magazine 2006

  8. Steve Roberts

    The new album from Code Indigo is their most assured and satisfying to date. The band consists of David Wright and Robert Fox with Andy Lobban on guitar and Dave Massey on rhythms and bass programming. The musical template has been refined and honed into an impressively mature and confident musical vision.

    This is apparent from the opening track, ‘Autumn Fades’ which begins slowly with melancholic strings and piano motif, interspersed with Lobban’s excellent guitar which enters with a plaintive cry. At around the four and a half minute mark, the percussion steps up the pace a little and the strings add more atmosphere to accompany the soaring guitar which take the track to a great climax and then cross fades into the more lush and gentle ‘Chill’ .

    Here the atmosphere is more subdued with strings, percussion and piano predominating and then subtle guitar phrases add a little extra colour to the wonderfully downbeat ambience. Cross fading into the more abstract tones of ‘Vapour Tales’, which adds distant voice samples serving as a prelude to ‘Ten Degrees Per Second’ which steps up the pace a little with percussion added to the mix. At just over two and a half minutes a wonderfully downbeat melancholic air permeates the track and Lobban’s guitar lifts the piece to greater heights. A superb track to lift the spirits and affirm all that is great with this band.

    ‘Back with The Weather, Calm Front’ strips the sound down to percussion, rhythm guitar and orchestral tones with a superb ethnic vocal sample adding splashes of colour. ‘Storm Surge’ continues in similar vein but gradually builds the atmosphere and intensity and has a great end sequence featuring an impressive guitar climax. ‘Vapour’ relaxes the atmosphere with a drifting, hypnotic tone poem of piano, echoed radio samples, synth and guitar textures cross fading into ‘Cultures’. The percussion is subtly ethnic, and again some highly effective, hypnotic samples enhance the mix, and yet another winning memorable melody is deployed before the guitar returns to add a little more bite before the primary theme is revisited. ‘Culture Shift’ adds marimba sequences as the mood shifts down a little as guitar provides the main focus before the gradual crossfade into the more abstract territory of ‘Vapour Tails’.

    ‘Lost Radio (Tuning In)’ begins with what I think is a sample from the classic radio broadcast of ‘War of the Worlds’ by Orson Welles before a terrific piano piece emerges reminiscent of Robert Fox’s palette, (I may well be out of turn here and I use this as merely a descriptive device), on ‘Lost Radio Program 1’. ‘Program 2’ has a clever bass sequence and continues with the guitar and keyboards adding great phrases to the mix.

    Finally, ‘Tune Out’ concludes the set with, at first, soft, almost subliminal, piano and strings and downbeat keyboard work which sounds to me like David Wright’s compositional touch, again I may be wrong, but it is a fitting, if low key, ending to a great album. I wish all those who bought Dave Gilmour’s recent solo outing could hear this album. Whatever the undoubted merits of the former release, I have played and enjoyed Code Indigo more.

    To compare ‘Chill’ to Pink Floyd seems a little lazy, and guilty of all the hallmarks of the hyperbole sometimes seen in review listings, but I genuinely believe that Code indigo deserve to be heard to enable people to make up their own minds. If my own personal experience is anything to go by, with individuals instantly converted, then a wider audience is theirs, if, and I know it is a big IF, they can only be heard. This has been true of other EM artists I know, but that does not make it any easier to take.

    ‘Chill’ is the finest Code Indigo album so far and that in itself is a great achievement.

    Steve Roberts

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