Chachuba, a four piece jamtronica band out of Chicago, released their new album “Lost the Mountain” September 4th and I was so blown away I just had to write down my thoughts. I have not seen this band live yet but plan to hit 3-5 shows as they come through the Southeast in the coming weeks.
First and foremost, the production on this album is immaculate, particularly on the drums. Whether you’re going to listen through headphones or speakers, it is truly a beautiful audio experience trying to catch to each individual layer added to the songs. Whatever team of people they had to record this PLEASE keep them around.
Float GOAT opens the album immediately tossing us into the space funk dance party before breaking into the serene opening line of guitarist Jimmy Klimek. After the first progression we get our first dose of the electronic influence with a deep breakdown featuring some smooth work from drummer Gary Goodheart. The band then returns to to the dance party and I can’t help but get hooked on the guitar part (straight up dancing in my living room right now), I truly cant wait to see where this song goes during jams live. Float GOAT ends truly with your mind feeling like its floating.
Glued takes us on our first journey into the Drum and Bass (DnB for later) land showing off the skills of Mr. Goodheart once again, and just an absolutely nasty bass line by Nate Beitz. Amidst the madness going on around him, really try to lock into the landscape keyboardist Sean DiCosola is creating for his guys to work around. The first breakdown gives us a chance to breathe before slamming back into the DnB beat. This time around i was locked into the guitar and a huge smile came to me as I couldn’t help but just say “God damn these guys are good.” Just as the band has us feeling like your floating above the Mountain the next part of Glued plunges us deep into the psychedelic realm with wild sounds flying all around. I’ll be interested to see if this section gets the royal treatment live as it is short on the album. Glued finishes by going back into the DnB beat.
Sexmoog takes the 3rd slot and I was of course excited by the name alone. Emotions start to kick in here as the first “vocal” samples appear. I love the thick groove of the opening section it really grabs me and gets me bopping along instantly. After the breakdown comes what feels like will be the “jam” section live and features the always welcome laser beam Moog sounds. After the jam Sexmoog returns to the opening melody and finishes with a fadeout.
Aquafux This song F***s. Right out of the gate the beat laid down is dirty and has me dancing. I like the way this song builds it uses just a nice grooving beat but no key/synth sounds for about a minute. Then when it gets to the synth melody hits I got the “Hell ya” feeling because its just so smooth. A nice breaks beat section takes us through the next portion of the song before going into the Untz (potential live jam) section. The melody rings back through finishing out Aquafux.
World 110 transports us to Chachuba’s high flying melodic world in what I like to call their “transition song.” What I mean is that I could see this song being used live as the middle of the sandwich song. It starts with an in your face build up before sending us on a nice little groove anchored by the bass. After a short breakdown the song goes back into the build up melody portion from the beginning. Very interested to see where this song will fit live.
Vitamin Sea has it all. To quote their own words from Facebook “This track is a fusion of hip-hop, downtempo, drum and bass, and electro genres.” It starts with a beautiful opening sequence dripping with some subtle production work from DiCosola before hitting the big melody with a fat synth line (so GOOD). The song progresses through a couple different section but I really want to highlight the groove at minute 1:50. I particularly hope that this section will get the live treatment into the deep dark psychedelic realm. Vitamin Sea returns nicely to its hip hop melody to finish it off.
Drowntempo is another song that grabs us right out of the gates with a big rolling bassline that the band uses to nicely to set the landscape of the song. Opening section lasts about a minute and a half before diving into the dance party funk. You can definitely feel the band holding back for the good of the album during this part but i can only imagine how it will go live! After the jammy section Chachuba returns to the opening rolling bassline but they throw a nice little guitar solo on top this time.
Day 20 shows off the band’s transitioning skills. I love the drop into the breakbeat section at the 48 second mark I can see myself already throwing down if I see this one live. About 40 seconds later the band transitions to a nice house Untz section featuring some driving guitar work and great “fill the empty space” work from the keys and production samples. Once again they transition cleanly into the breakbeat section with a little more samples and sounds thrown all around. Chachuba brings it all together as the switch back into the house Untz to close out with a nice jam on the end of this track.
Medicine Man in my opinion is really the only “downtempoish” song on the album and really shows off the skills of everyone very nicely. First minute has some great guitar moments before the keys take over creating a sort of haunting feel over top of the beat the rhythm section is laying down. This goes back and forward until about the 3 and a half minute mark and then the band creates a huge build before releasing into a huge synth/guitar peak. The band slams back into the downtempo rhythm to finish off our dose of the Medicine Man.
Bacon Plane rounds out this masterpiece of an album continuing with all the themes we hear from the previous tracks. The Bacon Plane takes lift off with the high floating guitar work of Mr. Jimmy Klimek once again and although i have tried to avoid comparing them to other bands in the jamtronic world right at around the minute mark you can very clearly hear the influence of bands like The Disco Biscuits, Lotus, etc. The band keeps us soaring through the sky hitting a really great stride at around the 2:20 mark where the drummer switches to a nice DnB beat. Again try to hone in on the different sounds and layers being added in I can’t stress enough how good these guys are at not letting any space fall through the cracks they have such a big full sound throughout the album. The Bacon Plane lands comfortably back to earth after a nice peak in the jam and returning to the melody in style.
I can not freaking wait to see what these guys can do live. I’ve been listening to anything i can get my hands on Archive/Soundcloud/Facebook/YouTube. They truly are everything I like about Biscuits/Tribe/Lotus and I’ll even go as far to say they do it better (at least album wise). It’s very clear that Chachuba has been influenced by all the greats but also can tell someone was a big EDM fan as well because the little electronic things the throw in the background really make these songs FEEL so much bigger and more full than the norm.
Thanks to Chachuba for bringing this album to the world it truly was a life changing experience for me personally to hear this stuff keep doing what your doing!