Magic, Noments! The Quietus Phonographic Corporation Presents Chrononautz

OOOOOF! It's CHRONONAUTZ! The latest artist we're releasing on The Quietus Phonographic Corporation... time for a right grubby rave-up. Pic by Alicja Debicka

After three pop records from East India Youth, The Charlatans and Grumbling Fur, plus the murderous excursion of John Doran’s spoken word collaboration with Arabrot, Nik Void, Perc, Nicky Manics, and British Sea Power, we thought it was about time that The Quietus Phonographic Corporation gave you all the chance for a knees-up. This comes with a record that exists as an LP that’ll also suit a knees-up, and is by Leeds duo Chrononautz. Noments is two sides of tough techno oddness that, for all the M62 grit, never forgets that raving ought to be an absolutely massive, hectic hoot. Noments is released via all good record shops on strictly limited 12" on July 19th, with the digital release also featuring remixes from Bleaching Agent and Photonz. You can listen to snippets below, after which Harry ‘Sword’ Sword interviews Chrononautz. There’s an LP launch gig with modular colliery duo Hirvilokari and communal lunacy noise group Sly & The Family Drone at Cafe Oto on August 3rd, tickets for which can be found here.

Harry Sword on Chrononautz

Fusing improvisational chaos, serious technical chops and an insatiable urge to create very strange sounds, Chrononautz are making some of the most exciting and original techno in 2015, though their unrestrained music goes far beyond mere functionalism.

Grinding acidic gear and psycotropic madness; esoteric beastings and passages of serene calm; clam fisted grin smithery and off kilter wreckage, the music made by Dom Clare and Leon Carey is the product of an endearing friendship and years spent agitating in the more obscure corners of the Leeds underground. Playing music together since 2000, they initially started to experiment with electronic sounds in the lauded Chops, a band who ably joined the dots between cranky lo fi electronics and the open ended spirit of free jazz. Splitting in 2010, the pair then briefly formed Runners before finding their true calling as Chrononautz.

Self released in 2014, their ‘Public Domain Fuckover Series #1-6’ was quickly picked up by the likes of fellow Leeds resident, ex Blackneck and all round mischievous techno impresario Bleaching Agent as well as Quietus editor John Doran. Drawing on a welter of influences and honing long improvisational sessions, the music contained on the series was an intense, often brutal, depth charge exploration into warped acidic crank. With most tracks hitting the 20 minute mark, their heady vision took hold in a pleasingly immersive fashion, and the series was eventually listed in The Quietus Albums of the Year 2014.

Holding no truck with either over -produced sheen or lumpen functionality, Chrononautz display a sense of uninhibited raw dynamism that, when combined with an uncanny musical telepathy, also brings explosive results in whichever underground sweatbox they happen to attend to. Running their SECT club night in Leeds, they have been pushing their inimitable rough shod techno primitivism and acidic divination to heaving back rooms in their home city while recent London shows have been similarly anarchic.

2015, however, is all about ‘Noments’; a record that truly captures the pairs musical essence. Stemming from a desire to start afresh after two years of near constant writing, improvising and recording, ‘Noments’ finds Chrononautz delivering their most compelling audio thus far, offering unexpected turns, twisted sound design and moments of rare esoteric beauty, as they explain:

‘‘We’re both pretty intense characters. We have a clear vision of what we’re trying to achieve, as well as being obsessive about it. For ‘Noments’, we buried ourselves deep in the studio which, by this point, was being regularly polluted by fumes from the car re-spray garage beneath us. Most of our improvisations were either floating off into the ether or really fucking angry, our heads pounding from the obnoxious poisons. We’re talking heavy duty shit – lead – floating into our lungs and fucking with our heads. It’s hard to explain how it makes you feel; numb and greasy. It’s not good for you, let’s put it that way. That’s where ‘Noments’ comes from.’’

‘‘We knew we needed to stop our cycle of endless recording. Scrap everything and start fresh so we pressured ourselves. We wanted to make a statement that encapsulates everything we’ve done so far. It was recorded in two takes, from two different practices in the same week. No thought process, just take a deep breath before entering the fume-filled studio, trust our instincts, and try to remember to stop in time for it to fit on the side of a record. This is the culmination of 15 years of friendship; two obsessive brains unintentionally whacked out on lethal poisons, filtering all our influences and experiences, boiled down to the thrill of having nothing planned. It’s hard to convey just how much this record means to us, it’s the cleaning of the slate.’’

Finding themselves on repeated rotation at The Quietus headquarters, a meeting between the pair and Quietus Associate Editor Luke Turner one grey Sunday morning at Corsica Studios proved fortuitous, and led to their signing on tQPC, as Turner recalled:

‘‘Truth be told, part of the reason we put ‘Noments’ out was because it was 7am after Plex BleeD Them at Corsica Studios last November and I’d met Chrononautz outside in a state of not insignificant discombobulation. I really liked and admired their attitude, just hammering back and forth down the M1 on the £1 Megabus to go raving, and said there and then that we’d definitely be interested in doing something with them. What I love about ‘Noments’ is you whack it on and each side is this exciting 20 minute cruise through all sorts of grubby places and sounds that don’t really sound like what anyone else is doing at the moment’’

‘‘You can hear their grounding in non-techno types of music, yet they’re still making a form of techno. There’s a huge amount of musical flotsam and jetsam bashing around in what they do, it’s linear with an amazing groove but there’s so much banging around and getting muddled up and you’re never quite sure which way it’s going to go. I love that you could imagine them hearing them play at a noise rock festival alongside something batshit crazy like Sly & The Family Drone just as you might mess up your shoes to them at 5am in some godforsaken railway arch. But rest assured: this is rave music through and through; proper Aire and Calder Navigation rave-up’’

The Quietus Digest

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