Chiste1 (Santiago Centro 2 AM Mix)

"Chiste" means "joke" in Spanish, so here is a joke in Spanish.

Hay tres clases de personas:
las que saben contar y las que no.

Chiste is also the project name for Daniel Jeffs and Hugo Espinosa (aka Djef and Mika Martini it says here...) both electronic musicians resident in Santiago, Chile, and members of the "Taller Electroac˙stico" organisation.

Chiste1 (Santiago Centro 2 AM Mix) is their first piece as a team, and was produced for the project "Positions" by Pyo Workgroup in France (http://pyo.workgroup.free.fr/project_01.htm). The project produced a series of tracks all based on the same samples that were derived from the organisers computer, and were named POSITION 9 to 32. As such, the track from Chiste is POSITION 28.

The piece starts with micro loops of digital glitches that start short and then blur, creating a high pitched tone. A crackle of surface noise and a muted undulating drone unfolds, interspersed with spikes and clicks. A typewriter (sic) clicks occasionally and provides a semi regular beat which is augmented by looped snippets of crackling. The piece pauses for a moment with some random blips and bleeps and continues as before allowing you to notice sounds that were there all along but had not noticed. There is an underlying tonal change in the original high pitched tone, which gives the feel of a melody beginning to evolve, which it never quite does. Again the track pauses with bleeps and clicks and again returns to the typewriter, and some digital crunchiness. And then it stops, abruptly.

I would have liked to have heard more from the duo, and what info existed in their bio was scant and gave no further clues. I tried to pry a little more from them via email, but was only directed back to the website and the same bio. It is difficult to accurately assess the piece in a vacuum, but to try to do so I would have to say that I would have liked some kind of progression from start to end, instead of just start, pause, play, pause, continue, pause, continue, end. If heard within a larger body of varied work, however, I would like this very much. It is ambient without being "pretty"; it is abstract without being "difficult". It certainly sounds like it could derive from sounds inside a computer albeit a somewhat old and creaky machine, with a dodgy disk-drive. I think my old Amiga 1200 sounds a bit like this, and for many years it was my favourite computer!


Review by Mark Francombe