Except for the persistently enticing title track, opening the CD at about 20 minutes of duration, Ghost Of Nakhodka is a collection of rather short sketches – seemingly cut off longer sessions, abrupt fadeouts characterizing several of them – which confirms Andrew Chalk’s matchless aesthetic, adorned with a continuous sense of yearning for something that’s passed and given up for lost by now, a not-too-latent regret permeating the large part of the music album after album. Yet this time we must also take note of a somewhat easier detection of the sounds obtained – strings in particular – in some of the tracks.
Although Chalk has grown the listeners used to the lack of lists of sources, thus attributing an additional layer of secrecy to his creations, in this circumstance the emergence of acoustic guitars and other related instruments (perhaps a balalaika, somewhere else a cimbalom or a hammered dulcimer) lets enjoy a previously unheard kind of melodic tactility amidst an otherwise nebulous-as-always gathering of aural landscapes replete with backward tapes, stratified chordal elongations, disembodied harmonies and smile-inducing juvenile memories. There’s no actual indication of a way to follow in these touching pieces, and the individual response to the combinations of frequencies is the only correct method to assess this heartfelt work. As a general rule the sound is deceivingly timid, revealing its pale grace through repeated spins. Long-ago reminiscence and fragments of tunes mix effectively in the weak flickering of a sheltering pensiveness.
Chalk’s segregation from the rest of the world, both artistically and in any potential alternative meaning, is clearly dictated by the need of finding answers to issues that would generate depression in less intelligent human specimens, and that instead get transformed in vehicles for the propagation of evolutional resonance by a man who, despite living in a sea town, exclusively sails across reticent hopes permeated by extracorporeal vibrations.