Review: Chuy – Chuy (PresserNoise, Sep 13)

From the San Gabriel Valley in California flows this sludgy, sprawling mess of slipshod tabletop noise that, for all of its sluggish loop orchestras and mucked-up exhumed melodies and sleazy static, makes me feel alive. Though Jesus Gomez is far from the first Jesus to go by the more concise nickname Chuy, this seems to be the first release from him under the moniker; since the material included on this self-titled cassette was recorded back in May 2020, the pandemic may have been a hindrance to getting the project off the ground. Regardless of where or how the artist is now, this is an exhilarating an ambitious inaugural statement, and throughout its nearly 80 minutes I consistently feel the familiar regret of not being able to witness it being tracked live. Each of the half-slabs are in turn roughly hewn into two parts of 17-19 minutes each, but the divisions feel pretty arbitrary—and I like that they do, because it feeds even more into the entertaining sense of deliberation and fluidity with which Gomez performed this set. Despite the length, his (presumably) spontaneous compositions don’t fall into episodic territory—i.e., the artist simply working through all of their soundmaking tools in a dull, linear way, which I’ve unfortunately witnessed more than a few times—but instead organically swell and swarm from stew to stew, each one a dense, steaming jumble of a little bit of everything amplified to the max. A spectacularly swampy adventure well worth your precious time.

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