June 2024

Anatomy of a Jerk

Album artwork

Artwork for Liliane Chlela’s fifth release ‘Anatomy of a Jerk’ out on Infinite Machine.

About the project: 

Liliane Chlela’s ‘Anatomy of A Jerk’ reflects on sonic storytelling, experimenting with the compositional frameworks under which it operates. The Beirut-born producer, dj and performer stands at the forefront of the independent electronic music scene in Lebanon, with a reputation for shattering expectations with her live auditory soundscapes, exploring improvisation and the manipulation of sounds from wide-ranging musical genres. Her fifth record (and first on Infinite Machine) steers further into such territory, warping manic synth patterns into percussive motifs, cutting abruptly in and out of poignant melodic interludes. Chlela’s sonic narratives begin, repeat, break apart, disappear and fold into themselves, encouraging contemplation of the compositional elements–the anatomies–that constitute them.

Each track is a meticulous excursion–a melange of varied constituents carefully and uncannily arranged, sometimes coalescing, often deliberately breaking away from the song’s anticipated structure to bring forth unexpected moments of beauty. The first arrangement, ‘Bison’, is exemplary of this, where high intensity metallic stomps, clangs and stabs form a rhythm that is frequently interrupted and broken apart, sometimes by evasive melodies that tease the listener before fading.

‘Bza2’ and ‘Friendly Fire’ move further into the discomfort of unanticipated moments and interruptions. In each, haunting strings and synth-pad melodies start and stop, floating and pausing over jitters and stutters of mechanical percussion. Other tracks move further into the atmospheric, creating dramatic, theatrical soundscapes. ‘Third Fraud’ leans into this approach, where string progressions and cinematic drums tell a story that is less affronting.

Like previous works of Chlela, these eight compositions reach into a difficult space that is only rewarded with careful attention, patience and openness. The arrangements are invigorated by the distinct nature of the compositional fragments; seemingly divergent patches, sounds and rhythms are paired across an eccentric timeline, providing ample opportunities for listeners to relish in the sudden jerk of the unforeseen.