Gambit review of The Answer’s In Forgetting
by Alison Fensterstock,
The local ambient electronic act Chef Menteur seem to delight in subtle references to Thomas Pynchon (the title of the last release, We Await Silent Tristero's Empire, and a track on this one — 'Goodbye Callisto" — both appear to be nods to the cryptic cult novelist's book The Crying of Lot 49). The band has something in common with the writer: As obtuse as the work seems to be, it's also sneakily beautiful, almost mesmerizing in a quiet way. Chef Menteur is aces at subtle sonic infection. A coherent whole, the album creeps in with a shimmering acoustic guitar, building a dense wash of sound that practically masks digital as analog; the thrum of the mellotron and ebb and flow of synthesizers are as lovely and organic as a country sunrise. The robots don't creep in till the third track, the interestingly titled '1491," when beeps and tweets slip into the bucolic hum. By time the album crests and the full bag of electronic tricks upends itself, you're captived.