It is almost incomprehensible to think of where electronic music was 17 years ago – but that’s the length of time between solo albums for Chris Carter. He has been far from idle of course, with Carter Tutti Void hitting a rich vein of form, and Throbbing Gristle continuing to thrive, but Chemistry Lessons Volume One gives him the chance to operate without any of the expectations attached to those two collective bodies. For his inspiration Carter has been absorbing old English folk music and 1960s radiophonic sounds, and these combine in 25 beautifully painted postcards of melody, texture and rhythmic activity. The music is incredibly positive and celebratory, while the beats range from loosely defined waves and clouds (‘Cernubicua’ and the starry-eyed ‘Moon Two’) to sharper, synthetic affairs down near the floorboards (‘Modularity’ and the concrete foundations of ‘Lab Test’). Although there is sometimes a lot going on Carter keeps an appealing simplicity running through the album, so that the melodies always take precedence over the colourful sound pictures, but both can be roundly appreciated. Because of this, repeat lessons reveal more about the music and its depth – and the ‘Volume One’ moniker comes with the hope that Carter has more experiments up his sleeve. He is certainly on top form here.
 
Ben Hogwood
5 out of 5

 

Chris Carter – Blissters (Official Video)