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Chef Menteur 13
We Await Silent Tristero's Empire

Terrascope Review of WASTE

by Simon Lewis, Terrascope
May 2006

Hailing from New Orleans Chef Menteur play songs, psychedelic improvisations and lo-fi experiments on We Await Silent Tristero's Empire, a collection of pieces recorded 2002-2004 before they became a full band. Opening piece "Europa" is a percussion led drone that slowly builds into a dark cloud of noise, the rhythms lost in the debris, before "Pointu" gets you dancing with it's groovy Farfisa organ sound, although this is soon surrounded by swirling noise that ensures nothing is too comfortable. Track three "Paysans De La Mer" is pure psychedelia, a shimmering eastern delight, complete with real Sitar, whilst "Matiasma" is an improvised noise/drone that unsettles and delights at the same time. Further in, "W.A.S.T.E." is a pulsing electronic piece that unexpectedly changes, full of street sounds and backward effects, and gaining a sun-drenched haze that slowly evaporates leaving the scratchy electronics and effects to slowly fade into nothing. The atmosphere is changed again when the slow motion space drone of "Caverns Of The White Widow" melts from your speakers, space made liquid, the sound of your soul leaving it's body. (If memory serves me correctly White Widow is also the name of a particularly trippy brand of marijuana that once left me grinning like an idiot for several hours, but that's another story). Final track "Io" is a vast expanse of medative sound, a pure drone that is like a heat haze, slowly changing yet remaining the same, a mirage for the ears that works perfectly, and is indicative of the quality and innovation that cuts across this album, offering an expansive palette of sounds that are blended together into a cornucopia of musical delights for the discerning listener. —Simon Lewis