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coverpic flag England - Full Moon 149 - 11/13/08

RL/VL
Chagrin
Hidden Shoal Recordings

Chagrin is used to explain strong feelings of annoyance or displeasure, sometimes mixed with embarrassment. In French, it means sorrow. In Dutch, a "chagrijn" is a person who is grumpy, unsatisfied. It is also used as a term for Turkish leather.
It can also refer to several places in the US state of Ohio...
(Wikipedia.net)

18-year-old Jack Hamill is RL/VL. RL/VL is an acronym for Real Life/Virtual Life. RL/VL makes extremely sparse and minimalist instrumental music. It's like a mild breeze disappearing almost before you noticed it's been around you.

Last issue I checked out the album's single, Kweens, which was a nice foretaste for this album. Chagrin's a collection of 13 slow pieces. In a way it's all too much, I think, with over 70 minutes of music. It's a massive collage even though it's very low and whispering throughout, and rather comforting, putting you in a tranquil state of mind. Yet, I find it to be a too big bag of sound. That said, you could/should of course 'inhale' the album in smaller portions. Well, of course the songs are growing on me. I guess they need some time to shape. The compositions are like paintings. Oil on canvas. They sure need some of your time.

So, what about the tracks then. "Kweens" is already mentioned. I also enjoy "Dinosaurs", and the closing "Complaining Til the Bitter End". To name a few. There are many fine moments of course. Finally, I must say I do get impressed by 18-year-olds being creative like this. Hamill, hailing from outside Belfast, began exposing his compositions some 2 years ago and he sounds like a full-blown, full-grown electronic composer. He has previously put out the EPs Gigi's Catch of the Day (Sounds Asleep Recordings) and Tardypoints (Acroplane). Come swim the ambience of Chagrin.

Copyright © 2008 Håvard Oppøyen e-mail address

You may also want to check out our RL/VL article/review: Kweens.

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