Out Now! Chop “Illuminate” Album/Free Download

Now-Again | Aug. 13, 2013 | News | ,

Studio wizard Chop pulls out all of the analogue stops on the Motorik highway to Cybotron by way of a Tangerine Dream on his debut album for Now-Again. Album out NOW; download a free track below!

Mr. Chop’s debut EP for Now-Again in 2009, Lightworlds, drew together anthemic synth-rock, the jagged sound of Italian prog monsters Goblin, and musique concrète, with surprisingly accessible results. Since then, the artist known to friends as Coz Littler has rid himself of the Mister and returns with renewed focus for his debut album Illuminate known simply as Chop.

The path that took him here was winding indeed. Isolating himself in his Cheshire, UK studio in late 2009, Chop decided to try his hand at the nearly fifty year old – and rarely successful – quest to musically merge the organic and the electronic. Three years later, surrounded by a host of musical material and reeling from the passing of his father, his music started falling into itself and Chop found himself in the center of the spiral.

Enter his friend Joe Fearon, A&R for the likes of Liverpool bands The Coral and The Zutons. With Fearon’s help, Chop whittled down hours of recordings to a selection of the most inspired moments. It became clear that while each stood up on its own, they lacked a unifying theme. Chop discovered a solution in the mutated sound of his own voice – at times processed through a WWII-era bomber pilot’s reconditioned microphone, at others deconstructed via an early Texas Instruments computer. And then everything fell into place: Heliocentrics drummer Malcolm Catto’s rhythm tracks were edited off-the-grid until they became more Neu than James Brown, more driving than syncopated; Bill Ryder Jones from The Coral stepped in for the lead guitar parts, which lent a powerful psychedelic 60s rock sound to the proceedings; Chop repurposed a range of obsolete musical gear to renewed ends, in line with his desire to search for a future imbued with the innocence of the past.

The result is Illuminate, an album equally inspired by the retro-futurism of the still-sputtering 19th century power station in Northern Wales, across the estuary from Chop’s studio, the events of his life, and Chop’s collection of hip-hop, disco, new wave and minimal synth records. A record of extreme personal significance to Chop, the creation of its music conversely helped him to silence the chaos of an increasingly neurotic world and soothe the pain of his loss of his father.

Unsurprisingly, Illuminate traverses a number of moods. The jackhammer pounding of ‘Building Blocks’ segues into the moody but serene ‘Picture Box’. The futuristic soundscape ‘Arcane Future’ takes an uplifting melodic turn, revealing Chop’s hopes for a more perfect tomorrow. Tape loops and effects, field recordings and drum programming all play a role in Illuminate, and as the majority of the tracks were assembled far away from a detailed Pro-Tools grid, in what Chop calls a “mutant modern way of editing things,” This approach gives the songs a life of their own – equally electronic and human. Though it’s the most intellectual approach Chop has taken with his music to date, it retains a spontaneous feel throughout, and despite its technical accomplishments, Illuminate is Chop’s most intimate and personal album yet.

Buy: Chop Illuminate on Itunes
Download: Chop “Building Blocks”

14 Responses to “Out Now! Chop “Illuminate” Album/Free Download”

  1. [...] Chop dá mais um contributo com um disco que já me conquistou só com o press disponível na página da Now Again e que abaixo reproduzo e que parece navegar entre a electrónica pioneira, o pulsar do Kraut, os [...]

  2. rocks says:

    When will the full length be released?

  3. Screw iTunes says:

    Why is Now Again giving exclusive digital sale rights on these new releases to frickin’ iTunes? I’m trying to support the artist and pay for a download, but I can’t unless I do it through iTunes?!

  4. Is there an option to buy without going through Itunes please?

  5. Markey Funk says:

    Why the download code leads to an empty page?

  6. Egon says:

    Hey Markey – the download link works; Everyone else – the album is available on all DSPs, including our preferred partner, Drip.fm, but we link to Itunes as it is the way that 90% of our consumers buy digitally. You can also find the album on a variety of online and physical stores – or request that they bring it in.

  7. Ain't subscribing to sh*t says:

    Well sure, a majority of your customers are buying it digitally from iTunes if that’s the only place its offered when the album comes out besides subscription based services that require a monthly fee. You can “prefer” it all you like, I ain’t subscribing to sh*t.

    Amazon MP3? Nope. Mr Chop’s Bandcamp page? Nope. Not even Bookmat for our UK brethren.

    Honestly, I opted for a CD purchase to avoid iTunes. But this exclusivity makes it less likely I will buy Now Again releases, which is a shame. And exactly why I still don’t have the latest Karl Hector release. Bad look Egon.

  8. Egon says:

    Hey again – we should have a webstore up soon (well, I’ve been saying that for what seems like over a year now), but when it is, you will be able to buy all formats directly from us. in the meantime, thanks for supporting us and buying the CD – that means a lot.

  9. Markey Funk says:

    The code that I received with my copy of the record does work, but it leads to an empty folder, where no file is found. Here’s the only text I see:

    NA5102- LP / Mr. Chop “Illuminate”
    Click on a file name to download.

    There aren’t any tracks available at this time.
    Please check back soon.

  10. Ain't subscribing to sh*t says:

    That’s great, thanks Egon. A Now Again webstore sounds great. MP3 download direct from the label or artist is definitely my preferred method of supporting the music I love!

    With the occasional vinyl purchase for extra bad ass releases.

  11. Jack Summers says:

    Best Chop release so far. Best Now-Again release this year.

    Amazing record that really blew my mind! Why are there not more people talking about this?
    More forward thinking music like this please.

    Thank you guys

  12. [...] We haven’t heard much from Dimitri Grimm under his Dimlite moniker for a while, but it would seem that he’s been busy preparing the ‘Cite’ album as Dim Grimm, a project for which he’s discounting the usual way he goes about making a record, saying he’d ‘like to avoid making my little life, views and lunacy the content of the record’. One ‘personally formulated thought’ from any contributor that they consider to be true and universally valid is being used as a starting block, and from the submissions that have been going in here since August, ten will be selected and interpreted into musical compositions, for a scheduled album release in August 2014. For the time being, the Switzerland based beat maker has delivered a fuzzy remix of something from the recent retro-futuristic, analogue psychedelic ’Illuminate’ debut album by Chop on Now Again Records. [...]

  13. [...] Chop dá mais um contributo com um disco que já me conquistou só com o press disponível na página da Now Again e que abaixo reproduzo e que parece navegar entre a electrónica pioneira, o pulsar do Kraut, os [...]

  14. [...] Reworking the beautiful dissonance of “Feedback” from Chop’s late 2013 release Illuminate, Dimlite creates a kaleidoscopic corridor of endless emotions spreading out like cascade of [...]

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