Agitated Atmosphere: Chll Pll - Aggressively Humble

chll pll

As major labels continue to exist behind the times, artists and labels with little capital and lesser reputations are producing some of the most innovative, interesting, and inspiring music. Whether it’s creating a new niche in digital technology or looking to once obsolete formats, Agitated Atmosphere hopes to shed a bit of light and share a bit of information on the up and coming sounds of artists such as Chll Pll.

Last month, Agitated Atmosphere babbled on and on about the eccentric output of Portland virtuoso, Zac Nelson -- often known by the name Hexlove. We can’t seem to shake Nelson -- his eyes are from portraits of Jesus, scanning the foreboding living room landscape in an ever-ready stance to shame us into compliance with His will. So goes the abstract musical musings of Zac Nelson.


Aggressively Humble, released via Florida-based Porter Records, finds Nelson teaming with modern day thunder drumming god Zach Hill (who has played with just about every blog sensation imaginable), to create din of every conceivable genre. The results find the duo delving deeper into the obtuse, frequenting a region of out-of-control time travel holed up in bedroom experimentation. Nelson’s brand of glitch pop collides with Hill’s beastly rhythms to create an album heavy in sound, rich in texture, and ignorant of polish. Aggressively Humble is rough around every edge, but music should never carry a gleaming sheen. Hill and Nelson roll around in the primordial muck of prehistoric rock and futuristic materials. Aggressively Humble combines rock and roll’s earliest steps in harder -- even metallic -- melodies and filters it through the visions of musical growth once expressed in krautrock and no wave. Songs are often a bundle of space-bound laser shots that bounce off the dirty and worn padding of the duo’s psychiatric cell. Many of the tracks tend to rattle on and on like the ravings of a madman, yet they never wear out their welcome. There is profound wisdom to be found in stream of conscious and Chll Pll have translated their esoteric musings into music -- the universal language. So as they Bill and Ted their way through meetings with John Bonham, Tangerine Dream, Can, and Big Black, you can guarantee that Aggressively Humble will bridge the language barriers.

Listen to “Pass Out”:

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Justin Spicer is a freelance journalist who also runs the webzine Electronic Voice Phenomenon. He writes the Monday News Mash-Up for the KEXP Blog. You may follow him on Twitter.

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