What is it about chimes that evoke memory—not a specific memory, but memory itself? Chaperone’s Jazz from the Shelter, opening with such peals, ignites images of sitting with friends around a low-lit table, or city streets pattered by rain. Chaperone (David Coccagna) employs that more obvious means of triggering memory: the loop. Conceived as a beat tape, the 14 tracks, each containing their own palette, each an impressionistic vibe, share a gauzy quality as they move from glitchy polyrhythm, to bird calls, to creepy, no-one’s-left-on-Earth-but-you ditties. They’re like specimen jars of a poet’s collected peculiarities.
Funky feel-good, then cave-dweller dub. A healthy dollop of body music. Harsh ambience. When listening through Jazz from the Shelter, it’s as if you’re skimming the radio dial of a planet both recognizable and not. Varying speeds, tones, and washes indicate Chaperone’s romanticism. Prosaic, emotive, heady at times, his art practices beyond music have clear fingerprints on these tracks. Though beat tapes are usually a collection of incomplete, working ideas, Chaperone makes a cozy home in such unfinishedness.
David Coccagna is a Philadelphia native now working from Ridgewood, Queens. His installation artwork and noise cassette sculptures have morphed into tapes and records for labels like Bedouin, Great Circles, and Always Human Tapes. Coccagna's work reflects the class politics and the poverty of Northeast Philadelphia, pulling from the musical and sonic influences of the area. Coccagna is currently writing Black Ground, a chapbook of poems and short prose about the failures of academic art, pandemics, noise show boredom, and electric bike delivery drivers.
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It took me a few listens to “get” this, even though it exists in a musical community I think of as relatively familiar. But there is something about “~~~” that feels a part of my own existence, even though there is no overlap between this artist’s life and my own. This is maybe where the magic is...a cosmic voice of sorts that shows us we originate from the same dust and answer to the same call. bzztm-bzztj