Fill out the form below to receive the latest news about upcoming LINE editions and projects.

Richard Chartier

Further Materials
Bandcamp iTunes Spotify Reviews
Further Materials
  • Further Materials is a follow up to 2002’s Other Materials. Both are collections of non-album tracks which originally saw the light of day on compilations with like minded artists. Richard Chartier is a sound artist, installation curator, and sometime lecturer who needs no introduction to anyone mildly interested in electronic music. He is one of the originators of the “microsound” or “lower case” form of digital music, which is, as it sounds, minimal music, usually played at minimal volume. What’s intriguing about Chartier’s music is that if you listen carefully, and with the volume pegged to ten, there’s incredible depth to his music.

    I must admit that, other than the fact that it makes for a change of pace, I was skeptical as to why the lower case artists chose to work at such a wisp of volume. Indeed it’s hard to imagine Chartier’s music would be any less interesting if presented at a more moderate volume. But then it hit me as I leaned into the speakers; if you choose to listen to this music, you have to make the effort of actually listening.You don’t put it on in the background, or it has little effect. It requires an investment of time and energy. And if the music wasn’t interesting, you most certainly wouldn’t keep listening.

    It’s fairly audacious for an artist like Richard Chartier to expect so much from his audience, but for anyone possessing the patience to set aside seventy minutes to take in this CD, the time will be well spent. The album goes in chronological order from 2002 to 2005, and you can see how his style has changed a bit over the years. The first couple of tracks are very much what anyone familiar with Chartier’s earlier material might expect. That is, very quiet digital landscapes, with some high pitched tones, creating a sound net which is in a word disorienting. There is also a fair amount of silence, another hallmark of Chartier’s work.

    The common factor between all of the pieces is that, though they are pulled from a variety of sources, the artist’s unified vision holds the album together. It doesn’t come across at all as an “odds and sods” compilation. It progresses from ultra minimalism to louder, certainly noisier music, providing a superb primer on Chartier’s recent work. Chartier throughout his time as a sound artist has always questioned the way sound should he heard, how we listen to it, and how it relates to our physical space. Fortunately he also makes sounds which provide for us a reason for us to listen to it.

  • Meant as a follow-up to “Other Materials” compilation, Richard Chartier’s “Further Materials” is a collection of hard-to-find work from various compilations. Recorded between 2002 and 2005, we’re witnessing an on-going development of Chartier’s already mature work. Large chunk of this material is quiet – deathly quiet. This is ultra-minimalism at its best, so I advice you turn up the volume knob quite high. Listening to this in an unobstructed environment [no kids running around, late at night, etc] helps you to catch the minute details of Chartier’s work. Listen carefully as a slow drift envelops on “How Things Change” [from “For Morton Feldman” compilation]. Few minutes in, delicate glitches are heard, only to be replaced with an on-going motor-humming sound. Repetitiveness on “Untitled” is quite busy, with the gentleness of occasional pops and crackles appearing from time to time. Collection ends with live version of “Tempt” [from 2002 Berlin Transmediale], which actually contains some saw-like sounds that fully shock the senses into an upright state of alertness. What I love best about Chartier’s pieces is the way he allows large chunks of silence to be worked into his compositions. Excellent compilation, allowing clear time-line to be drawn into this multi-faceted composer’s work.
    (Gaz Eta, Poland)

  • After a brief fallow period, relatively speaking, Chartier and LINE summarise a clutch of his extensive contributions to compilations on a wide variety of labels from around the world, from between 2002-2005. Chartier adherents will be quick to confirm that this was perhaps his most productive period, soundwise after a brief hiatus, and personal re-invention, taking on the mantle of uber-minimalist, with a series of recordings that challenged the auditory sensibilities of many of us, with a series of near silent pieces that nevertheless bristled with activity and vitality.

    Further Materials quantifies this period with a logical timeline that traverses Chartier’s numerous approaches from the stark restraint of “composition09.01” for the now defunkt List label, through to a more recent, and somewhat busier live foray, “tempt” for Canada’s Mutek in 2005. One of the high points of the collection for me was the wonderful “how things change” a tribute piece to Morton Feldman on Trente Oiseaux in 2002. Positioned between Steve Roden and Bernhard Gunter, Chartier’s piece was a rigorously worked slab of ultra-minimalism, that deployed a gristly, textural backdrop with shifting foci, occasionally peppered with a delicious sub-bass tone, drifting off into complete silence. In fact, it was the perfection of digital silence that to some extent drew Chartier back to recording, as silence here is used as a primary compositional element, that separates and punctuates the more audible elements.

    Interestingly, two of the “specification” pieces, eleven, and fourteen, appear here, constructed as they were with long time collaborator, and label buddy, Taylor Deupree. These highly reduced atmospheres exemplify the modus operandi of both composers, where simplistic tonalism is layered and juxtaposed with other organic elements to create shimmering surfaces, and pastel colours. I was also heartened by the inclusion of “untitled” from Canada’s 1.8 Records, and “improvisation_122904b” on Portugal’s Grain of Sound, both in themselves important pieces for very small, specialised labels. The former being almost pure synth, framed with organic particulates, the latter using rich, expansive, reverberant tonal stabs, that veers into almost dark ambient territory. Followers of Chartier will no doubt be fully aware of his considerable influence on modern minimalism, and for the neophyte, this is a vital and essential access point to his work, and numerous approaches. Highly recommended.
    (Whiteline, UK)

  • A sequel to the Other Materials compilation (released via Richard Chartier’s own 3Particles label), this album draws together the various compilation tracks released by the artist between the years 2002 and 2005. Many of these pieces take the form of miniatures, meaning they’re both shorter and more condensed than Chartier’s conventional output, the most succinct of these being the two-minute sound sculpture ‘Tracing (Sketch For)’ lifted from Raster Noton’s Frequencies [Hz]. You’ll find more substantial compositions here too, most notably ‘How Things Change’ taken from the Trente Oiseaux album For Morton Feldman. It’s vintage Chartier, and not something to be missed by fans of his sophisticated hyper-minimalism. At the other end of the audibility scale there are a couple of Taylor Deupree collaborations on here: the Japanese, NTT-ICC-released ‘Specification.eleven’ and the 12k-published ‘Specification.fourteen’, both of which display tendencies towards more intelligible, less enigmatic sonic terrain, breaking up the intensity and austerity found elsewhere. Looking over the tracklisting, even the most dedicated followers of Chartier’s work are bound to hear something they hadn’t been able to track down previously, and for everyone else, this offers an ideal opportunity to get hold of music published on compilation titles that would otherwise be a nightmare to get hold of. Of all the pieces sequenced here, ‘Tempt’ (recorded live at Transmediale, Berlin) stands out as rather noisier (well, relatively speaking) and was apparently designed to drown out an Akufen set from a neighbouring room. It’s hard to imagine these genteel drones and the occasional noise signal overspill keeping Marc Leclair’s chopped up microhouse from bleeding through the walls, but it’s a wonderful piece nonetheless. Chartier’s music deserves a certain amount of reverence. His material is pieced together with an incredible amount of care and detail, something made all the more potent by the fact that you really have to consciously tune in and scour the music to hear it all. A great selection of music by one of the very finest electronic composers currently out there – Highly Recommended.

  • Occasionally in the underside of musical exploration, the listener is intentionally brought into a state of vulnerability where the sounds that are created are at the boundaries of what can be perceived, and one must search to the borders to gather the pieces and form a picture. It is almost like listening to another language, but one where each of the syllables makes sense and only in learning the context does it construct any meaning. I had this experience, quite intimately, with sound artist Tom Hall’s latest album, Cross, and most recently, in attempting to review Richard Chartier’s Further Materials.

    Sickeningly prolific French (American) sound artist Richard Chartier is known for his minimal sound experiments, a sound design focus that incorporates the very borders of perceivable sound and gives precedence to silence. Further Materials, released on LINE, is the latest of Chartier’s releases, billed as a companion to the Other Materials compilation on his own 3particles label. This release brings together some of Chartier’s compilation contributions, and as a result, each of the pieces on here take on something of a more concise form than may normally be expected from a Chartier release.

    With headphones, Chartier’s music becomes as much feeling as it is hearing, particularly in the more minimal compositions such as “Composition09.01,” which are less about producing ultimately musical material than creating a full-spectrumed sound world. These pieces can only be experienced in full; only in experiencing the progressions of the sounds does it make sense, such is the detail of the music. In “Untitled,” a tiny, balanced panning sound at a near unperceivable high pitch evolves wildly, gradually accompanied by more detailed textural material, until all elements come into an amazing synthesis.

    Even considering the sensual engagement of these cerebrally composed pieces, it is in the more tonal material that this release achieves its best moments. With this release being a compilation, we are treated to somewhat more concise works than Chartier is best known for, and as a result, we receive beautiful miniatures such as “Tracing (Sketch For),” “Specification.Eleven,” and “Specification.Fourteen,” the latter two providing a pitch focus that is absent from the other pieces on this release. The result of this combination of Chartier’s approaches means that while the kind of unity one might expect is not present, the variety and conciseness of the compilation as a whole results in an intriguing listening experience.

    It comes as no surprise that Chartier is French (but i am not). Such attention to detail, such a focus on the intricate inner life of the sound is reminiscent, albeit in different ways, to the textural and timbral mastery of the many French composers from Berlioz to Debussy and (more directly) Grisey. Richard Chartier’s compositional focus dictates that a casual inspection of his work will ultimately lose an engagement with its full spectrum of textural detail. Even in Further Materials, where these tracks are packaged to fit alongside entirely different musical worlds, it is in the details that the full picture is pieced together.

  • LINE boss Richard Chartier has conjured up a set of tracks from the archives here that gel together beautifully and form a compulsively minimal listening experience. Taking tracks from releases on Raster Noton, Trente Oiseaux, List, Mutek, 1.8sec Records, NTT-ICC, Grain of Sound and more there’s a lovely sense of balance here. Whilst it challenges you with barely-there minimalism and high frequency range tracks, it also soothes with some surprisingly accessible drone-based pieces. Chartier is a producer of some substance and this CD is testament to that. If you enjoy the more minimalistic side of electronic music, this is one to check out. Super stuff and another great release from LINE.
    (Smallfish, UK)

  • … this is also a perfect introduction if the sound world of Chartier is not your daily digest and as such this is a very fine work. We hear the super quiet version of Chartier, the sound he is best known for. Resonating frequencies, low bass rumble, a high peep. The clicks and cuts with faint traces of rhythm and even a loud piece is present here (‘in an attempt to drown out Akufen’s set filtering from an adjoining area’). That is perhaps a side we haven’t heard that often of Chartier, but here too it’s a nice one, so perhaps the more noisy route needs further exploring?
    (Vital Weekly, The Netherlands)

  • A collection of pieces from international compilations issued between 2002 and 2005, Further Materials provides a generous sampling of Richard Chartier’s work, from the steely industrial flow of “improvisation_122904b” and micro-sound excursion “composition09.01,” an eight-minute piece whose glacial ebb and flow would verge on inaudible sans headphones—”ghosts in the machine” indeed—to slightly louder collaborations with Taylor Deupree (“specification.eleven,” “specification.fourteen”) where tones waver, glisten, and softly slink. The most aggressive setting is “tempt,” a five minute flow of volcanic simmer, whose presentation Chartier reserves for noisy spaces, in this case MUTEK 2005 where he attempted to drown out an Akufen set bleeding in from an adjacent room. By comparison, pieces like “how things change,” a sixteen-minute homage to Morton Feldman produced for Trente Oiseaux, and “000.0/01” are almost ridiculously quiet and minimal in content, yet there are rewards, so long as the listener is patient enough to broach the material on its uncompromising terms. As is always the case in Chartier’s work, when the tiniest of gestures is accompanied by pregnant pauses on both sides, the sound’s impact is magnified and mounting tension results. Having said that, the seventy-four-minute Further Materials will be of interest to micro-sound devotees, but its appeal may not extend dramatically beyond that circle.

  • Non e una ristampa in senso stretto “Further Materials” del solo Chartier, bensì una raccolta di composizioni altrimenti pubblicate su compilation in gran parte ormai irreperibili (un primo volume, intitolato “Other Materials”, era uscito nel 2002, in questo caso il periodo preso in esame va da quello stesso anno al 2005). Fedele foto d’epoca, benche forse destinata ai soli completisti, l’antologia e un insieme di fruscii pressoche inavvertibili, sfiati e sbuffi distanti, cavita in cui il suono affonda e scompare, ammutolito dalla sua stessa difficolta comunicativa o da una affascinante idea di assenza simbolica. Fanno eccezione le due tracce realizzate insieme a Deupree, in bilico tra gentili refoli ritmici e aguzza minutaglia in collisione, e, per contingenze logistiche, quella conclusiva registrata dal vivo al Transmediale del 2002, con un Chartier che pompa i volumi per evitare di essere sovrastato dal set di Akufen contemporaneamente in azione nel salone attiguo. (7)
    (Blow Up, Italy)