Inveterate sound-tweakers Cyberchump (aka Jim Skeel and Mark G.E. Eberhage) are also apparently avid recyclers. For their new release, Flutter and Flow, the duo took existing tracks, used the PaulStretch software program to pull them out to 30 minutes, then listened for “sweet spots”–rhythmic passages that sounded ideal to jam over. The result is a seven-track, 45-minute psychedelic groove replete with wailing guitar, easy downtempo beats, and wavering washes of sound out to hypnoptize you. One of the things that immediately catches my attention is the abundance of thick, meaty bass lines courtesy of Eberhage. It’s a hefty anchor of sound, heavy on the funk, and I can’t get enough of it. I quite like it strolling its way through the title track, accompanied by a heart-pounding rush of glitchy percussion and Skeel’s guitar, or its casual lope as it anchors “When Time Was No Time.” Skeel’s leads are another obvious attraction, alternating between gorgeously drawn-out howls and wails and fiery slashes of rock-soaked guitar joy. He fires it up on the deepest groove here, the 12-minute “China Dreaming.” It’s got something of a Berlin feel to it, roaring along on a steady low-end sequencer riff in a toe-tapping time signature. Analog-synth whooshes shoot through the backdrop. A rewinding-tape sound makes for a funky break early on. In among all this, the guitars (may I assume they’re from both of the gentlemen?) launch sustained chords and soulful riffs in equal measure. This track, particularly, is signature Cyberchump.
I like the concept at work on Flutter and Flow, and Skeel and Eberhage make it more than just a curious little experiment. The extended sound-beds give everything a floaty edge and retain hints of their melodic origins, so they are also, in a slow-motion kind of way, dynamic. The improv’d jams have an ear-pleasing rawness to them and never lose their way. Blend all that with the easy cool that pervades these tracks, and Flutter and Flow quickly locks itself into a repeat-play slot. An excellent release from Cyberchump. They just keep getting better.
Available from the Cyberchump web site.