Leeds-based DJ and producer Chekov has released an atmospheric house track on Shanti Celeste and Gramrcy’s label Peach Discs. As the first release of 2020, and as one of four tracks lifted from the new ‘Aerated’ EP out March 27th, ‘Swerl’ showcases a carefully crafted style that shifts away from the sound of previous releases, and towards a sound that serves a slightly different purpose. Chekov’s 2017 ‘Rochlict’ EP introduced three tracks, all united by paced house percussion and piercing industrial sounds. ‘Swerl’ maintains this pace and production style, but leans towards a more ambient, softer approach. Chekov elaborates on the motivation behind this decision:
“This record captures my attempts to engage more fully with melody. This is something I’ve often overlooked in the past, as both a producer and DJ. Thanks to some gentle (and welcome) nudges from friends and peers, I’ve tried to add splashes of colour and allow myself to embrace emotions beyond pure dread. This isn’t something that comes easily to me yet, as someone socialised ‘male’, so my eternal gratitude goes to those who have lent me their patience and encouragement here! It seems no coincidence that a broader spectrum of emotion has emerged in my work as I have engaged more fully in exploring my gender identity”.
We begin with a blissful yet unassuming intro, easing us in with floaty, ethereal effects. As ambient swirls grow behind the steady pulse of the beat, the track is gradually layered up, each new element drifting seamlessly into the soundscape with a subtlety that seems to weave the track together into a continuous sonic journey. No one element of the track seems to leap into the foreground, but this is perhaps its forte; that whilst the steady unfolding of gentle chimes and bubbly echoes tickle the senses from left to right, a balance is maintained throughout. The distinct lack of any striking lead sound allows the listener to drift into a trance, and to absorb ‘Swerl’ almost subconsciously. It is not to say that this leaves the track in any way unengaging, as the driving kick drum that cuts through the mix ensures that appropriate energy is maintained in an otherwise dreamy, tranquil soundscape.
‘Swerl’ accomplishes its objective. Building upon an established sound, Chekov has crafted a balanced and immersive track that retains elements of previous releases, whilst teasing a softer and more delicate angle to their production that we may see more of in the future.
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Image courtesy of Conor Toner.