BOLTLP005: Broken Waves
Release date: 29th January 2009
CD and Digital
THIS RELEASE IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE FROM THE BOLTFISH CATALOGUE ON CD. HOWEVER, YOU CAN STILL PURCHASE IT VIA DIGITAL DOWNLOAD FROM A RANGE OF ONLINE RETAILERS.
"Broken Waves feels like the first exceptional electronica release of 2009"
"Pure electronic bliss"
All tracks © Cheju/Boltfish Recordings 2009
Boltfish Recordings co-owner Cheju presents an album offering a superb collection of tracks in his distinctive style. The release also includes specially commissioned remixes by other Boltfish artists.
This release is presented in a Digipak.
Cheju’s distinctive brand of warm, melodic and glitchy electronic music blends glowing analogue synth tones, deep layers of atmospheric textures and complex beatwork. Tracks such as Object Not Found, Pica, Pantone and Hikari balance crunchy broken drum patterns with warm, gleaming synths, whilst Pachinko, Closing In, Blanchot and Bracken exhibit a softer, warmer side of the artist’s production style, with dulcet electronic melodies and crisp intricate beats. Traces and Data Packet add treated post-rock / shoegaze-influenced guitar textures to the mix, and Moiréis a more minimal, dusty and granular piece, built around heavily processed piano tones.
Also available in a limited edition, you can purchase a bonus DVD featuring specially commissioned videos of Data Packet and Object Not Found by Pixelpusher, for only £2.00 extra, giving you the album and the bonus DVD for just £9.99! ALL DVDs NOW SOLD - MAY BE AVAILABLE VIA OTHER RETAILERS!
Preview this album on Last FM
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Featured videos for this release (created by Pixelpusher)
"Cheju‘s latest is chock-full of casual beats making its title fit quite snug, Broken Waves. A bit of a sleeper, this one features three P’s: Pica (breakbeat background music), Pantone (perfectly paced instrumental, minimalist Erasure) and the stand-out Pachinko (delicate Asian harmonies overlain with soft statics and funky staccato). Keeping you on your toes throughout, with lots of tangible and floating tones. Elsewhere Cheju (UK’s Wil Bolton) livens the more noirish textures without losing his rhythmic composure on the extremely lovely Moiré. Each short track (all 15 are under 7 mins) is truly a unique composition. This is not a record that flows-thru continuously – so it reads like a set of short films. Not for the couchside listener as the pace changes unexpectedly, but the climax has to be double-header of the charming Closing In and Conduit, a brightly lit minimal techno piece that grows like a fine CAD design, line by line. It’s a great balance of smoothing out the edge of old-school electronica, drawing attention to tempos without sacrificing the smart edge of its pop sensibility. The disc includes three additional mixes by all that flow perfectly with these broken waves."
The Silent Ballet
"Broken Waves is a deeply captivating, thought-provoking album that brilliantly blends ambient soundscapes with electronic beats varying between the subtle and the overwhelmingly heavy. It is like a heavier and chirpier Boards of Canada, with hints of Brian Eno, Aphex Twin, and even Telefon Tel Aviv included at some moments. This gives the tracks on this album a very soothing, yet tense and schizophrenic feel to them, ultimately demonstrating that CHEjU's sound is more than merely a amalgamation of influences. Instead, through the project's five year history, CHEjU has successfully fashioned an individual niche and is quickly coming into his own in the electronica circuit.
Wil Bolton, the man behind CHEjU, is a perfectly capable musician whose music is supported by some amazing piano and guitar lines, as well as the versatile break beat that truly gives this album its edge. He also displays his mastery as a producer, as each layer is perfectly audible whether it is meant to be in the forefront or the background, which is the main reason why this album is extremely entrancing. The one-two punch of strong musicianship and excellent production makes Broken Waves quite the enjoyable listen - be it the stunning instrumentation or the crystal-clear sonic palette, Bolton provides our ears with a veritable audible feast."
Translated from original French review
"Broken Waves is more or less impossible to avoid for anyone interested in IDM."
Translated from original French review
"Melancholy, depth, pleasure. Many beautiful words for a splendid album. Tracks such as Traces, Pachinko, Pica, Object not Found, Blanchot, Bracken or most incisive Hikari are true pearls.
In spite of the title of the album, you'll almost wish that these "waves" never come to an end by breaking on the shore.
Definitely a great album."
""Broken waves" comes as the ultimate sound adventure from Cheju, exemplifying not only their ability to blend ambience and intrepid multi generic rhythmic bases but as evidence of the more futuristic aspect from the IDM reign, exposing its evolution and adaptation to the new century challenges and ultimately synthesizing the many forms and contexts it may have had introduced to its own quest. High IQ chill out music!" Read the full review at Heathen Harvest
"Wil Bolton's Cheju material is always compositionally solid and impeccably crafted and his third CD album's no different. Interestingly, Broken Waves is the first full-length the Boltfish Recordings co-owner has released on his own label, with 2006's Pica and 2007's Diode having been issued by Unlabel and U-Cover respectively. The latest collection is pretty much what we've come to expect from the Cheju style: crunchy electronic beat programming and gleaming analogue synth melodies wrapped in synthetic gauze and arranged into tight, six-minute frameworks. Par for the genre, Broken Waves is also overstuffed at seventy-nine minutes in length with three of its fifteen tracks given over to specially commissioned remixes (in this case, Boltfish artists Reason or Romanza, Electricwest, and Preston ). (For the record, Broken Waves isn't a singularly-conceived work but a selection of 2005-08 tracks from sold-out limited-edition releases on Static Caravan, October man, Smallfish, Unlabel, Herb, and Boltfish.)
If there's anything different about the current Cheju model in comparison to its earlier incarnation, it's perhaps a willingness on Bolton's part to allow more grit and grime to seep into the material than ever before—a positive move given how much the noise textures provide a welcome counterpoint to the pristine melodic dimension (heard in "Closing In," for example, when the track's wistful melodies are offset by a textural flow of crackle and static). It's not a move he always makes, however, as the ultra-smooth "Blanchot" proves with its lush mix of silken strings and lilting synthesizer melodies. The pretty and serenading side of the Cheju style also comes to the fore in "Pachinko" which arranges harp-like Asian melodies, atmospheric synth washes, and crunchy beats into a transporting whole, and a similar restrained handling of material characterizes "Bracken" too. On the more aggressive side, there are tracks such as "Object Not Found," which counters the grime of hammering beat patterns with the gleam of chiming keyboard melodies, the arcade rumble of "Conduit," and "Hikari," whose heavy beat flurries hit hard too. The album's most anomalous venture is "Moiré," which builds itself around a light-footed dance of wispy, heavily-processed piano tones. It's an electro-acoustic dimension that Bolton would be wise to explore further as doing so will enable him to open up the Cheju style even more in his future work."
"This Cheju CD is really, really good. Laidbacktronica without the coffee table blandness that isn't Boards of Canada? I'd buy that for a dollar! There's a bonus DVD with a few of them too.. "
"Cracking collection of tracks from Wil Bolton aka Cheju. Includes a few tracks from hard to get releases and some specially commissioned remixes which really complement the original tracks very nicely. From a slightly tougher, crunchier electronica sound through to his trademark soft and melodic flavour, Cheju is totally at home with a range of sound palettes. There's a playfulness to some of these tracks that sit sweetly next to the edgier cuts and with the addition of the remixes from Electricwest, Preston and Reason Or Romanza you've got a nicely paced, very well put together album of pure electronic bliss. Excellent stuff, of course.
"Despite the time frame and the various track release contexts, Broken Waves is surprisingly consistent, and has a natural flow pretty much throughout. This is certainly a testament of Cheju’s integrity as an artist, and a clear manifestation of his musical persona. The sound is varied and rich, drifting from exquisite digital slicing (Traces, Pica) to lush atmospheric sound forms (Pachinko, Bracken) and evocative landscapes (Closing In, Data Packet), but the overall mood remains dreamy and, at times, cinematic, especially when Bolton toys with orchestral forms, on Blanchot, weaving together processed strings, subtle beats and ethereal melody.
The three additional remixes, placed at the end of the album, continue on a similar mood, but also bring some new elements to the mix. The Reason Or Romanza remix of Casiotonic certainly does justice to the piece’s title by injecting some playful beats and sounds, while Electricwest turns Scattered into a haunting textural drone and Preston gives Bellflowerroot a truly heavenly feel, complete with warm analogue soundwaves and guitar motifs.
Ever since it first appeared, Boltfish has always favoured beautiful melodic electronica. Cheju’s work sticks close to the label’s ethic and demonstrates here a strong sense for bringing textures, atmospheres and melodies together into beautiful pieces." Read the full review at the Milkfactory
[SIC] Magazine- 8.5/10
"In the era of downloads, self-released CDRs and the like, there’s nothing to limit the amount of stuff that an artist releases apart from their own self-editing and self-restraint. Wil Bolton, who records as CHEjU, has more than thirty releases listed on Discogs, all issued since 2004. Many of these were of ludicrously small print runs, and the number of realworld and netlabels involved runs into double figures. Help is at hand for the confused punter. Bolton has selected eleven of his personal favourites, together with one previously unissued track and a trio of remixes, and made them into an album.
Many of these ragbag collections of tracks from various sources and periods can sound incoherent, but you wouldn’t know from listening to Broken Waves that it was anything other than a specifically recorded project. Its advantage is that all of these pieces will have had time to prove themselves, so the things that sounded good for a week can be easily jettisoned. The CHEjU sound can be broadly summed-up as old school melodic home listening electronica, infused with very 21st Century beats that range from Pan Sonic-like noise pulses, to insectoid micro-clicks and pops. It’s a formula – but then so is guitar, bass and drums.
Broken Waves turns out to be a very strong and cohesive set indeed. The melodies are sticky and immediate, the beats and rhythms varied and fresh, and there’s always enough going on to benefit close scrutiny. The glitched guitar figure that opens "Traces" is a winning start, and the next hour and a quarter is full of high points. The big symphonic sweep of "Blanchot" juxtaposed against juddering, arrhythmic beats; the micro-clicks and melodious funk of "Closing In"; the distorted guitar undercurrent of "Data Packet" and the beautiful AFX-inspired "Pantone" are just four. The remixes are all of a high standard, and since they aren’t of tracks that have already featured, they don’t seem tacked on.
Although its providence is taking stock, Broken Waves feels like the first exceptional electronica release of 2009."