Ben Chatwin - Heat & Entropy - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Ben Chatwin - Heat & Entropy

by Justin Pearson Rating:7 Release Date:2016-07-29

Previously recording under the name Talvihorros, Scotland-based electronic musician Ben Chatwin makes his domestic debut with Heat & Entropy. Calling it "an album of contrast, conflict and chaos, but also of complex relationships", Chatwin employs various instrumentation to highlight the theme of creation implied in the album's title. Dulcitone, strings, piano and guitar are major players here, and the converging of synthesizers upon a more natural soundscape makes it feel more like the aftermath of chaos than its beginning or center. But even at the end of things, something else always begins, and much of the album encapsulates this idea quite well.

'Inflexion' opens the album fittingly with a dulcitone-led melody that works as a jumping off point into the clashing world of nature and artificiality that Chatwin presents to us.

'Gravitational Bodies' has an upright piano that's been modified with metal and tape, making it perform more like percussion than the actual thing it's intended to be.

His talent for combining disparate sounds aside, Chatwin is also good at creating atmosphere. Waves of sound pulse ominously on 'Oscillations' while 'The Kraken' builds to a frenzy that's tempered by a steady drone.

'Surface Tension' is flooded with a slightly uncomfortable, nervous energy, but it's followed by the more hopeful 'Euclidean Plane' with its light touch of guitar and piano.

While Heat & Entropy definitely feels of a piece, its individual parts don't do enough to make it really stand out as something head-turning; but then again, music like this is usually reserved for quieter, more contemplative moments, and for this reason alone it still succeeds, even if not in a huge way. This is intelligent music to get lost in, but not so much as to exclude the casual listener who wants to be able to easily find their way back out.

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