Photo: Aaron Cunningham

Chalk channel Aphex Twin in their paranoid post-punk blast “The Gate”

Belfast post-punk innovators Chalk have signed to UK tastemaking label Nice Swan and shared their first single via their new home, “The Gate”. Vocalist Ross Cullen reveals:

“‘The Gate’ is a song about the pressures that surround you. The first musical part that was written was the ending, which is an ode to ‘Come to Daddy’ by Aphex Twin. I wanted to create a track inspired by Locked Club or Mica Levi, something that had a type of deranged percussion playing at a 1/16 rate. Then I found a drum and bass drum sample which we had Luke re-record in the drum booth. Luke and Ben came up with the vocal delivery for the “Push and Pull” bits then I coloured in the rest. We’re leaning into sampling a lot more – especially our own field recordings –  sounds of public transport, and construction that we’ve built a library of.”

Even before the sonic meltdown that comes at the song’s finale, “The Gate” finds Chalk infusing a riot of infernal rhythms to underscore Cullen’s paranoid musings, building up walls of noise that feel like the world closing in. It’s a thrilling ride through desperation and despair, with Cullen sounding off like he’s expending his last breaths before he turns inside out from sheer terror. Then the song does do something akin to turning inside out as Chalk initiate sonic mayhem of field recordings and studio trickery to completely subvert expectations and drive headlong into a gaping wormhole of darkness.

Watch the clip for “The Gate” below or find the track on streamers.

“The Gate” is out on Nice Swan. You can find Chalk on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.