PICT003 Chairman Kato “Wildfire”
Wildfire is Chairman Kato’s debut release. It’s a challenging record intelligently crafted from myriad influences pushed though analogue synths and tape machines, distorted and chopped at Kato’s studio on the top floor of an East London Synagogue.
Hazy soundscapes link these intricate and thickly laden synth productions ever trying to tear themselves apart with brutal and up front drums.
“I knew I wanted to make something that was cohesive and not necessarily something that was going to move dancefloors. Over the last few months I have been listening to a lot of electronic music from back in the 70s and 80s when synths were new and there was a spirit of experimentation and excitement, way before the extensive proliferation of sub-genres. Synth pioneers like Chris Carter, Wendy Carlos and minimal wave composers from East Germany reminded me that electronic music is supposed to convey an emotion.”
Inspired by London after moving from a quieter place, Kato was moved by the sense of chaos, urgency and excitement that is in the air. It is written all over the sound.
Film has also hugely influenced this record. “’Tetsuo The Iron Man’ was a big influence on my music and encouraged me to distort my drums to create what a friend calls a ‘metal viscosity’. John Carpenter soundtracks are another strong influence as well as films like ‘Bladerunner’, ‘Terminator’, ‘Twelve Monkeys’ and others that predict dystopian visions of the future.”
A morphing soundscape builds from a bubbling opening to a slow straight rhythm that hints at the drum work that is yet to come. Many of Kato’s samples are resampled from tape several times. From this dark and moody beginning No Coincidence provides a rewarding fast beat, perhaps distantly related to hip hop.
The EP is centred around Streets of Rage, taking its name from the 90s brawler. Breathing like a living entity, the track develops from layer upon layer of brooding synth line, crackles pulsating against one another until released in a huge and euphoric climax that fills the sonic spectrum.
A rare glimpse of silence punctuated by a crackle brings in the brooding Gemini Eyes which opens with a slow dragging house beat. Nowhere more than here are the cinematic influences felt,evoking long drives through forests in the dark and rain. The hypnotic quality of this track leaves you completely unprepared for the sonic assault that is Thuddd, a track heavily laden with bass and distorted kick drums barely leaving room for anything else.
“Kato’s music is at once hypnotically subtle and tempered like gravel, probably the over-riding reason we wanted to see what he’d throw down for his contribution to our mix series…” – Oli Marlow, Sonic Router
“With such a remarkable panoply of ideas on show in Wildfire‘s scant 20 minutes, one can only imagine how much Kato will be able to cram into a full-length.” – Josh Hall, Fractions of One
“On the strength of these songs alone Chairman can feel confident that his 2011 is going to be very worthwhile.” – Alessia Matteoli, AAAmusic on Lunch Cuddle Syndrome/All Trickles Down (free download)
On No Coincidence: “It’s certainly no coincidence this production made it onto an EP called Wildfire; Chairman Kato makes it sound like you’re in the middle of one.” – Patric Fallon, XLR8R
“[Chairman Kato] lovingly singes our mustaches with his latest EP, Wildfire. Hurts so good, Kato.” – Elizabeth Walker Indie Shuffle
“The productions simultaneously imbibe the foreboding spirit of early El-P (think The Cold Vein more than Fantastic Damage) and Shackleton’s passion for drawn out drones as melodies. 5 tracks strong it revels in its own darkness, perfectly creating a darkened and lonely person’s dream state.” – Bleep.com
Chairman Kato – “Wildfire” – PICT003
Release date: 14th February 2011
Streets of Rage
Produced by Chairman Kato
Cover photography by Matt Piper
Mastered by Barry Shaw at The Cutting Suite
SonicRouter(interview), XLR8R(free download), InvertedAudio(EPStream) Platform, DummyMag, Hypnotik, FractionsOfOne(interview), IndieShuffle, PitchFork, BridgingTheGap, Doowelgnip (Pinglewood), EssentiallyEclectic, AAAMusic, JP’sBlog, AwkwardMovements, FreshAndNoble, NoFearOfPop, EgyptianMaraccas, You’llSoonKnow, SingleServing, JPsBlog, GETSOME, SputnikasWorld.