Album of the week: Chmmr – Auto

We’ve been waiting on tenterhooks for Chmmr’s debut album, Auto to make it our way, and it’s with great pleasure that we can finally add it to our record collection as our album of the week. Lauded by peers like Øyvind Morken and Magnus International, way before we even heard a single note from it, Auto is Even Brenden crystallising his Chmmr alias in the album format, after a few spontaneous EPs on the Full Pupp label, the foster home for the quirky and unusual sounds of Norwegian electronic music.

Chmmr’s music bounds with charm and grace on Auto. Playing in an eighties electronic palette of machines, where percussive arrangements are thin on the ground and synths evoke winsome dreamscapes, Brenden creates a very colourful diorama of visceral melodic encounters. He infects his productions with a tangible humanity, leaving his personable touch hovering over the keys long after they’ve been recorded. Leaving the parts quite dry and not overtly processed there’s rawness to Auto, and you almost get the sense that Brenden is in the room with you, playing his instruments just for you.

Combining syncopated Disco rhythms with melodies and harmonies that travel the world over, Auto defies tags like nu-disco and Balearic and adheres to an enduring quality. Alongside this Brenden displays a unique music ability, using complicated harmonic arrangements, inverting chords and using unusual dissonant moments to resolve his phrases, without ever losing sight of the beauty in the simplicity he manages to capture. Melodies remain quite focussed and obstinate in their repetition, offering balustrade for the complicated harmonic movements entangling itself around the polyrhythms of the percussion.

The album reaching our shelves has been worth the wait, and we are in firm agreement with the common consensus that this is one of the best albums to be released so far this year. We only needed a moment to realise it and it took very little discussion to make this our album of the week.