“Chutney Chasers” is just one volume of aVIE’s upcoming project, aVIEonearth, which documents a common man’s life on Earth. Each part of the project that he releases will explore its own world of emotions. As it relates to R&B, this is music of the future, steeped in the rhythms and sonics of the today, ingeniously invented for a 21st century audience. It will surely be appreciated by your ears, and you’ll find that after giving this a spin, it has in many ways changed your conception of R&B and music overall. A Classic. This dark and experimental urban recording, refined with electronics, is space age technology left to us by some alien teleported into aVIE’s body. It is truly a work of indie art, whichever way you look at it. And you will find yourself lost in every song without knowing really if you’re in a chorus or verse, but you won’t want to turn it off. One of “Chutney Chasers” greatest strength lies in aVIE’s understanding of how to create mood by weaving an impossibly complex instrumental palette, as he explores the adventures of his life.
The sounds seem representative of staggeringly diverse bodies of work, and yet none of them jar or sound misplaced; they’re all on the same mission, which is to contribute to an atmosphere of creeping disquiet. The EP’s clash of styles, both instrumentally and tonally create a psychedelic claustrophobia that is entirely representative of the narratives.
The genius of this record is that aVIE has managed to apply those sonic intricacies to his thematic approach. Everything from aVIE’s voice to the crackle of the snare and thump of the bass drum is treated with a delicate mastery, by the musician based out Houston, TX.
This 6 track package so sultry on the ear that spinning this record feels like both a carnal and otherworldly experience. When the opening title track arrives, there is no fanfare. No hyped statement of purpose or musical parting of the clouds. What we get is a warm keyboard intro, an errant bass slap, and panning jerky drums.
The man’s voice is multitudinous and angular when he sings: “nine out of ten times, I think she cares for me.” You reel amidst the splendor of this track, as you try to make sense of it, then give up and relax into the pocket of a perfect groove that’s already there.
And in that commitment to upholding the groove, we find warmth and evidence that we’re still moving forward despite the assault on our senses. Dark though it may be, the music itself invites repeated listens and rewards with serious loveliness. “Tapwater” is a surging mass of new soul built from classic thought and a rebel spirit – an unending angst and beautiful struggle.
“The Self” sparks the renaissance of slow-jam, melody driven soul, in a futuristic space, with its velvety harmonies, erudite instrumental and bombast. “New Feathers” is somehow the past, present, and future all in one. Both narcotic and weary, it feels like a living, breathing organism that mutates and grows.
The beauty of this record is in the balance: between the technical and the personal, certainly, but also between tightly constructed harmonies and melodies, and the more free-flowing sense of rhythm. “Midnight Oil” sees aVIE venture into rap territory, and it’s successful to a surprising degree.
The acoustic driven “Take Care” benefits from being so poignant, relaxed, and seductive at the same time. This is the track that gives the best shine to aVIE’s vocal textures, as it’s the most stripped down. All-round though, “Chutney Chasers” confirms that music holds the power to challenge and comfort, to take us someplace spiritual and existential. It’s beautifully, devastatingly human. Its aVIE’s life story.