Chet Faker: Thinking In Textures EP Review

It’s easy to hear why Melbournite producer Chet Faker has caught the ear of our musical press.

Chet came to prominence with a cover of Blackstreet’s No Diggity, combining the essence of this hip hop staple with the bluesy jazz vocals of a John Martyn. And all of a sudden, everybody was very interested in his music.

His debut EP includes this cover and is a musically relaxing, somewhat whimsical journey through Chet’s mysterious mind. At times contemplative, at other’s oddly bombastic, Thinking In Textures is defiantly down tempo, oft dub like in parts with a sizable dash of hip hop thrown in for good measure.

Hailing from the symbiotic scenes of house and disco, I honestly couldn’t recognise much influence from either world on this record. What I did notice though is Chet’s pleasing grittiness.

Thinking In Textures is chock full of glitchy and crackly rhythmic snippets, battered sounding Rhodes pianos complemented by healthy doses of reverb and ping pong delay that create a sense of space.

Sometimes Chet marries this sparse instrumentation with background atmospherics that sound as though they were taken from recordings of children playing in a summer meadow, stirring memories of slow sunny days spent by the pool with friends.

In short, it works rather well.

Chet’s versatility comes out to play on Cigarettes And Chocolate, sounding kind of euphoric in a stoned sort of way; all sparkly guitar and massive dub-like vocals whooshing around in great big delay loops. Whilst Terms And Conditions sounds a bit like the Red Hot Chilli Peppers circa Californication, with that ever present psychedelic space that defines Chet’s sound though.

Most of his lyrics are about the ladies and Chet’s got something of a soulful voice, though his vocals are often filtered to make it sound like he’s singing through a radio; another production trick that adds to the strange spaciousness which underpins Thinking In Textures.

Much as I enjoyed Chet’s singing, some tracks tended to incorporate multiple vocal harmonies that just weren’t too pleasing to my ears. I’m Into You either pushed his range too far or simply went for one overdub more than was strictly necessary.

The music of Thinking In Textures is probably a little too out there for huge commercial success, but there’s no doubt Chet’s going to find a lot of people who love his left field sound.

Especially those who like trippy laid back beats delivered with an independent aesthetic. And a killer beard.

Jack Oughton

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March 2012
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