Foil is Cheju’s contribution to the lovely, but hard to administer 3-inch series by U-cover. The five tracks on the EP is very much a Cheju affair with excellent melodies and distinct warmness to as well production as sound. And his exploration of acoustic aid such as guitars is seemingly continued in this release. The fifth track Nettle has an exercise in call-response of sort and is by the sound of things entirely based on plucking nylon guitar strings. Cheju’s Foil is the fifth instalment in the series and now counting in at 15 (JUL 2007), affiliates Zainetica and Joseph Auer has joined the ranks. And it would appear to be label co-owner Mint that holds the first release spot in the same camp given his 3rd place in the consecutive release order. Other contributors are Joel Tammik and Ontayso. The packaging and production is ace and Cheju is in really good company with this release.
“Pica” is Cheju’s contribution to Unlabel’s DIY extreme project “Series52″, get your head around this: “During 2006 Unlabel is releasing a series of 52 CD albums – one every week of the year, all by people who aren’t connected with us (i.e. none of our regular artists), to include all genres that we cover from the usual guitar based music – acoustic and alt. country to post-rock / math-rock, hardcore and beyond, piano, electronica / idm through to ambient, glitch, microsound, gabber, industrial / noise, soundscapes and anything else that takes our fancy, each in a strictly limited edition of just 100 copies.” The nine tracks on “Pica” all hold the high standard one would expect from Cheju. The album is filled with strong melodic constructions and beats in many variations. For example “Flutter” that got a sweet sounding melody and excellent beats, simply a treat! It’s a good album all around and carries number 18 and that would be corresponding to week 18 of 2006 and the 18th release out of 52!
“Partition” shows Cheju in form on October Man Recordings. It is a five track EP filled with strong melodies and the hinted melancholy that one is used to hear from Cheju. The “Partition” EP has some similarities to his recent Static Caravan release “A Rainy Mile” with guitars embedded in the production. The quality is as high as ever, for example the crispness, static and excellent beats of “Sundid”, the wall of sound in “Outdubstarn” or the hard to resist melody of “Casiotonic”. Cheju continues developing his take on electronic music and successfully incorporates new elements, while remaining true to his own unique sound, lovely stuff. The fifth and last track is “Outdubstarn (Mint’s Octane Remix)” as the title suggests a remix by Boltfish’s very own Mint. His remix sets a different mood and could very well have been included on the soundtrack of Carpenter’s Escape from New York if it had been around at the time. And finally my compliments to OMR for the highly enjoyable artwork and bright orange disc!
“A Rainy Mile” is Cheju’s debut release for the honourable Static Caravan label. The beautifully packaged four track 3″ CD single starts off with “Traces”, Cheju’s signature is clearly audible and it would be the beats that would give him away, however isn’t there a very familiar yet foreign element in this track as well, a sample of another great electronic musician. “Adrift” features devastating vocals and imposing guitars fused with a healthy beat to keep things moving along quite unlike Cheju and at the same time not. “Hikari” brings the big drum and Cheju sounds to go, it’s just a great seminal track. “Prolonged Reflection” is in a sense a retake on one of his own tracks and probably my favourite of the four on this EP. The build-up is superb, beats, melody and bassline to die for and kind of reminiscent of Bauri’s work actually, but still being a Cheju affair. “A Rainy Mile” – a lovely 3-inch release from Static Caravan counting in at 112! It’s only a 200 series’ run, so I suggest you get yourself a copy before it’s too late…
October Man Recordings (OMR) brings you “Forked Mountain EP” a collection of four electronic tracks by Cheju. The musical signature is clear and the warm, beat-filled melody intense music that is Cheju’s signature is present on this release as well. “Bitumen” and “Certain Ruin” quite fast-paced with a dash of electro added. “Shibuya (Section Mix)” got some slightly distorted beats and strong melody fused with strings for great contrast. This track was also incorporated on the Afterglow EP bearing catalogue number 2. “Forked Mountain” massive string-like melody and gently progressing beats has a subtle sadness to it, the beautiful kind. “Forked Mountain” is the 6th ultra limited release from OMR.
Rednetic is Zainetica’s very own label and a part from his own productions you’ll find some of the usual suspects among the releasing artists: Cheju being one of them. “Bubble Wrap” is the fourth rednetic release and the first track is entitled “U-bahn” is set in hip-hop mode the crisp beats and the well-defined handclap are contrasted with washes of synthesised sound. “Bubble Wrap” does indeed contain bubbly beats and has a subtle tempo shift that would cause any open-minded dancefloor going into frenzy. Would most likely work as a charm in a live setting as well. “Valencia” is an excellent piece of electronic music and demonstrates with clarity just how talented Cheju really is: the superb beats’ programming, very nice melody and deep bass make a very powerful track indeed, instant repeat is the remedy. Finishing the “Bubble Wrap” EP is “Disaster Recovery” and it lifts the EP from the depths of a wondering bass to a lighter state. Top-quality as always from Cheju and being released on Zainetica’s label… do I really need to say more?
The Japanese themed “Taito-Ku EP” is Cheju’s latest Boltfish release (Jul 2005) and it’s a gem! Cheju starts off with “Pachinko” and the excellent sounds and gentle crisp beats it contains. “Flipchart Psychology” which is reminiscent of something that would fit an updated soundtrack of a Miami Vice TV episode, sound wise that is, follows “Pachinko”. The third track “Bellflowerroot” with an excellent bassline is a clear favourite among the four tracks contained on this EP. The intro of heavily treated bells and the string-like bassline fused with clever yet straightforward-programmed beats works like a charm. The fourth and last track is entitled “Cloud garden” it got a dramatic intro leading onto deep bass frequencies combined with glitch moderately used. It’s lovely sonic imagery created by the ever so talented artist named: Cheju.
“A Year Apart” is more Boltfish sweetness (Jan 2005) this time around Cheju’s the contributor. The first out of four tracks bears the same title as the EP itself, that is, “A Year Apart”. The beats and well-composed melody works perfectly with the undeniable expertise in sound selection. “Expodec” is not quite as cheerful and has been equipped with an intro filled with atmosphere enters the groove to lock it all down, tight and secure. It’s an excellent piece of music and it would make wonders happen on the big sound. “Blots” straightforward beats, bassline and atmospheric enhancements. “…tracks with excellent production, warmth and precise sound…” you know what I mean? The fourth and last track “Microform” would in likeness with the last track on the preceding Boltfish release, Mint’s “Manmade nature” find it’s place in any nursery and also has the sweetest of melodies. Mind you it would be a nursery filled with bass and beats at that. In conclusion: Cheju’s “A Year Apart” is not revolutionary, it’s just very good!
On this MP3/CDR release from the Boltfish label, Cheju delivers four tracks of well-executed programming, melodic construction and quite a lot of atmosphere. The nostalgic factor is high, so is the production quality, high that is. The opening track “Shinchon” has qualities that any electronic music listener can appreciate. “Dragon head rock” builds along the same lines of thought, but is not as convincing. The third track on the EP “Sometimes” is an excellent track with subbass to go and very apt rhythmic compositions. It grooves in a very compelling way. I would say it was made for the big sound system and I can’t wait to hear it on one. Simply lovely! “Departure” is a virtually beatless track with soaring soundscapes of solitude that also marks the end of the EP in a fitting way. The sixth release is a good effort by Cheju and readily reflects the musical direction of Boltfish Recordings.