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Dance Chromatic

So it's a bit difficult to listen to sometimes. Get over it. Once your delicate ears have adjusted to the sonic screeching of producer Michael Chaiken's digital pulverizer, you'll be pleasantly surprised by the ethereal beauty and calm hidden beneath the drill-fests. Dance Chromatic takes us from one extreme to the other, forcing us to question our experience with music, blowing away any expectations we may have had.

While Chaiken obviously shares some musical perspective with the Digital Hardcore crew and the rest of the new generation of German techno radicals (Alec Empire, EC80R, Speed Freak, DJ Bleed, etc.) in his deployment of brittle distorted beats, metal guitar riffs, shouting, and thumping atonality, he adds his own spin with scintillating walls of noise, ambient reverbed-out guitars, and hypnotic beats that are actually, ahem, relatively easy on the ears. In Michael Chaiken's world, there is some hope for escape from the scratchy, distorted nightmare of the postmodern wasteland; harsh, relentless industrial pounding occasionally gives way to blissful clouds of heavenly reverb. Eschewing the in-your-face sociopolitical rants of hardcore acts like Atari Teenage Riot, Chaiken delivers his message by simply letting the music just speak for itself.

Dance Chromatic is release 001 for the label of the same name, founded in the summer of 1999 by Chaiken and fellow Philadelphia-based producer Jason DiEmilio. DiEmilio also runs Victoria Records and Colorful Clouds For Acoustics, and is the main force behind the prolific The Azusa Plane. DiEmilio also plays guitar in Mazarin.