Jan 2022 04

Album CoverRohn – Lederman
Album: Venus Chariot
Category: Electro-pop / Experimental
Label: COP International
Release Date: 2021-09-24


2021 has seen Chiasm’s Emileigh Rohn involved in collaborations with the likes of John Fryer and Unitcode:Machine, both of which demonstrated her propensity for delicate yet saccharine melody. While this is also certainly the case on Venus Chariot, her abilities are presented in a somewhat more surreal light, thanks in large part to Jean-Marc Lederman’s trademark subversion of standard pop sensibilities. This is not to say that the album is devoid of some inherently catchy moments, particularly in songs like “Destruction and More” and “Up In Flames,” both possessing some bubbling bass lines and intricate beat structures that underscore Rohn’s melancholic delivery of such poignant lyrics as “Show me where we’re fighting for / Pushing that tomorrow we’ll know more.” The same can be said of ballads like “I Can’t Watch You Give Up” and “Are We Supposed to Be Here?,” both brimming with a classic synthpop atmosphere that should immediately transport listeners back to the ‘80s, surely reminiscent of Lederman’s work with the likes of Fad Gadget and The Weathermen, and despite the morose tone of “All the Little Things Left For Dead Go Unsaid (a.k.a. ‘The River’),” the coldly inviting piano and Rohn’s whispers of “Spinning through me” recall the lush poetic stylings of Kate Bush. Throughout Venus Chariot, Rohn’s voice is treated with only the sparsest of effects, resulting in a more intimate sound that accentuates an emotive vulnerability; at times, there is a restrained, almost exhausted sound to her voice as her melodies dance around Lederman’s instrumentals, creating some rather intriguing harmonic counterpoints. For instance, she seems to swing with the rhythm in “Watch Out!,” the angular synths, swelling bass tones, and snappy beats making for a satisfying blend of seemingly disparate layers. There’s an almost playful and childlike quality to “Sunflower” and especially “Creature Puppets,” the thrums of synthesized acoustic guitar and twinkling toybox synths, along with the “drummer boy” percussion making for a forlorn lullaby that stands out on the album, while “Come Over Here” is almost disturbing as Rohn’s voice is down-pitched to a more masculine accompaniment that works far more effectively than it would in the hands of a lesser producer, the track providing a darkly catchy bit of rhythmic electro. All in all, Venus Chariot presents a uniquely sophisticated and oddly complex merger of two remarkable talents, combining exploratory production values with a strongly accessible songwriting. It may confuse some on first listen, but patience is suitably rewarded.
Track list:

  1. The Words Already Heard
  2. Anymore
  3. Destruction and More
  4. Creature Puppets
  5. I Can’t Watch You Give Up
  6. Sunflower
  7. All the Little Things Left For Dead Go Unsaid (a.k.a. “The River”)
  8. Spinning Down
  9. Up In Flames
  10. Open Up the Floodgates
  11. Watch Out!
  12. What’d We Find Out?
  13. Come Over Here
  14. Are We Supposed to Be Here?
  15. When You’re in Love, the Music Doesn’t Sound the Same

Rohn – Lederman
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Jean-Marc Lederman
Website, Facebook, Twitter, Bandcamp, YouTube
COP International
Website, Facebook, Twitter, Bandcamp, YouTube
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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