a drone collective.
many players. one chord.
the sum is greater than the parts.
Evanston, IL - CHORD was formed at Dr. Wax, a once thriving record store (now sadly closed, but immortalized as the title inspiration for prolific casio-rocker Wesley Willis’s 2000 full length) that was an appealing gathering place for musicians and music aficionados alike. Amid endless musings about the finer points of texture, tone, and Jimmy Eat World’s rousing single “The Middle”, Kyle Benjamin (guitarist for Chicago's Unfortunaut), Jason Hoffman (a.k.a. darkwave composer Anatole), Trevor de Brauw (of Chicago instrumentalists Pelican) and Phil Dole (of über-dronists X-Bax) devised an outline for CHORD that lived for many months in the realm of conversation. With a shared appreciation for the works of Tony Conrad, and Glen Branca the group formulated a collective vision: exploit and explore the sonic depth of a single chord.
CHORD performances consist of each player being assigned one note from a pre-selected chord. They are then expected to consider all ranges of flexibility concerning octave, rhythm, playing style and effect treatments. The overall effect CHORD generates is that of a single note being rendered into an unsolvable riddle – a harmonic Gordian knot that creates an almost pastoral feel of being blinded by the sun. The rejection of melody and structure in favor of sweeping and epic tones inspires a sense of rousing apprehension. Shrouded in the individual tunings of each player the pieces never become diluted, instead finding resolution in collective dissonance and consonance. To be in the presence of chord achieved is transcendent.
CHORD first performed during February 2004 at Evanston's Nevin's Live, stunning a sold out crowd who had gathered on a combination of word of mouth and their appreciation for the other folk-rock acts on the bill. A few select shows followed including coveted opening slots for Jakob, Savage Republic, Growing, and The Austerity Program, as well as a headlining appearance in Brooklyn at a benefit for The American Red Cross. CHORD will release its debut recording FLORA on Neurot Records in spring 2009. More information below.