Indelicate Slices
Room40, Australia / CD + digital / November 2017

All is lost, all is lost. Or is it?
A poignant question from Pinkcourtesyphone. A haunting strain. A coat of gloss smeared.
A scene recalled, a fond memory, a terrible lie in this new dark age of love.

Suspended in that lush, lonely feeling, Pinkcourtesyphone implores you to hang breathless on the line, above the chandeliers in shimmering stasis that belie those desperate, shadowy passions underneath.

A creak, a glance. nothing is for certain anymore. that sentimental something echoed across corridors, valleys, crevices, and it was never true. that redundant physicality kept it suspended in the lens-trapped hearts of countless thousands.

A limited edition. seven excellent examples of negative mood music. Pinkcourtesyphone’s artistry is all lustrous sounds. new meaning and beauty for…oh, you don’t even want to know. The answer is buried under centuries of suffocatingly sweet tonalities we created. Just like romance, the mighty do fall with indelicate slices.

Is it dark outside already…?

TRACKS:
1. romantic threat
2. lure / beyond exactly
3. minimumluxuryoverdose
4. date of loss
5. above chandeliers
6. problematic interior (den)
7. in voluptuous monochrome

formed from places, plastics, and particulars during 2016-2017 by Pinkcourtesyphone / Richard Chartier
Mastered by Lawrence English
design: Richard Chartier + Traianos Pakioufakis
thank you to RE, LE, JD. no thanks to conservatism + bigotry.
in dreams: Himiko, Anita, C.White.

REVIEWS

I am happy to acknowledge that Richard Chartier‘s alter ego, Pinkcourtesyphone is here to stay. This project has not only grown from its initial experimental phase but has developed into a well-rounded concept that grows stronger with every release. Indelicate Slices is the ninth full-length (there are about half a dozen singles and EPs as well), appearing on Lawrence English‘ monumental Room40 again. There are some ominous and spooky moments on the album, feeding my ears and psyche with a thin layer of delicacies, intended to be consumed with a glass of suburban opiate cocktail. The longer tracks on the album (at 9, 25, and 12 minutes respectively) are intermixed with their “shorter” vignettes, but it is the slow unraveling pieces that make your listening experience all the more worthwhile. Like the “Minimumluxuryoverdose” that opens up with a creaking door and gradually descends into a bass-punishing vibration of nothingness, deconstructed into its subtleties, minimalism, and barely audible vinyl clicks. “Suspended in that lush, lonely feeling, Pinkcourtesyphone implores you to hang breathless on the line, above the chandeliers in shimmering stasis that belie those desperate, shadowy passions underneath.” This is Chartier at his absolute best, combining reductionist microsound with a noir-fi thick cloud of pink. An absolute must.
(headphonecommute.com)

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On his newest album, Pinkcourtesyphone, is rehabilitating mood music. Its status as musical self-help means it’s rarely taken seriously, so Richard Chartier’s solution? Negativity. Indelicate Slices comes on a limited edition CD featuring seven tracks which plumb atmospheric depths, abrasive ambiances, and bad moods.
(normanrecords.com)

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Im Vergleich zu Celer sind die verlorenen Sounds von Richard Chartiers Geisterbeschwörungsprojekt pinkcourtesyphone, in dem er die minimalistische Strenge seiner Soundart-Kompositionen unter seinem bürgerlichen Namen zugunsten von delikatem Ambient auf der Basis nostalgischer Samples erweitert hat, auf Indelicate Slices (Room40) sehr düster und maschinell kühl geraten. Das Klangbild „Negative Mood Music“ prägt weniger morbider Schellack-Spuk aus verfallenen Großbürgervillen denn defekte Industriemechanik aus giftmüllverseuchten Maschinenhallen.
(groove.de)

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If you were thinking “I could really use some mood music right now; but wow, it seems like each day life on Earth is just getting worse and worse, and all of my mood music is too positive” — fear not! Sound artist Richard Chartier, recording as Pinkcourtesyphone, is sliding right in with a whole new record of (his words) negative mood music perfect for these deeply troubled times.

Indelicate Slices will drop next month from the industrial-grade meat slicer that is Room40, providing seven coarse slivers of minimal sound design meant to be “both elegant and detached.” Perhaps this rich new diet of refined, stoic isolation will give you the energy to focus ever deeper on what matters within the midst of this interminable nightmare that is late 2017.
(tinymixtapes.com)

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Richard Chartier’s Pinkcourtesyphone project is now six years old and has become a reliable source for some of the best dark ambient music around. Yearly releases on vinyl or CD and distinctive pink artwork help make the project stand out from legions of producers of dull, gloaming, drone music. Indeed the highly defined aesthetic of the project is one of its enduring facets and is rooted in a very particular notion of femininity within the context of modern consumer capitalism and pharmacologically modulated states. That this feminine aesthetic is evoked by a man is of course problematic and worth examining. Also of note has been Chartier’s occasional use of Pinkcourtesyphone’s music to raise funds for transgender and LGBTQ causes. All of which is indicative of a creative depth and social engagement rarely found in the genre. Indelicate Slices follows on from 2016’s lush Taking Into Account Only A Portion Of Your Emotions and features seven tracks ranging from three minute vignettes to half hour epics. 

Despite being one of Chartier's least academically inclined projects the music is still slow building and rewards patience. Album opener Romantic Threat is a seductive foyer, taking us through swells of anticipatory strings and distant drones. At only three minutes it grasps the listener with the project's characteristic sense of intrigue and mystery, leading nicely into the paranoid dreamscape of 'Lure/Beyond Exactly'. The most minimal rhythmic reverberation frames the rise and fall of numerous microtonal and harmonic electronic sounds. As with all Pinkcourtesyphone releases the sense of space created by the use of effects and layering is key to the overall mood. These are not external spaces governed by the laws of physics but rather inner spaces adhering to a logic of psychical disturbance and opiated delirium. 

This distorted psychical space finds its corollary in the extended running time of some of these compositions. The longest here, 'Minimumluxuryoverdose' is twenty-five minutes of glowering drones and subtle concrete interventions ranging from lightly scraped strings to vinyl static. At the heart of it all is a deep throbbing bass drone, not oppressive in itself, redolent perhaps of that low noise we hear in especially quiet places, and which emanates from our own circulatory system. The subject of this music is alone, listening to the sounds in their own head. What is being drawn out here by this extended length and intense focus on small sounds is perhaps the sense of time itself, of unending desire and anticipation, amplified by the pharmacologically neutered minds of the project's fictional subjects. Luxury from the Latin luxus denotes both excess (principally of sensual pleasure) and a corresponding idleness from public affairs and intellectual pursuits. All of the feminine characters evoked by Chartier's project exist in states of permanent luxuria; one which the modern iteration associates as much with constant voluptuousness (think pop-stars and celebs) as idleness. 

This sense of voluptuousness, filtered through altered states, appears time and again on Pinkcourtesyphone records. On 'Above Chandeliers' a hint of tinkling piano melody is evoked only to be locked into a paranoid loop, as doomy bell like tones ring out and distant industrial sounds negate any possible sense of repose. The altered psychical states amid endless voluptuous luxury which this music suggests are as far away from bliss, or even intoxicated abandon as you could imagine. These spaces are filled with neurotic, paranoid and impotent feelings. When Chartier does deploy a more conventional instrumental phrase (usually orchestral) it's warped into a grotesque form; slowed down, detuned and looped, becoming another signifier of mental collapse.

The album's closing piece is appropriately titled 'In voluptuous monochrome' and again stages the seemingly paradoxical combination of luxury and drawn-out paranoia. Here the tonal elements do almost all of the work, deprived of even the smallest external reference or conventional sound. It's also the piece that most harkens towards Chartier's material under his own name. A sense of existential dread hangs over the these slowly modulating drones and textural flourishes. It is a monochrome, but not a smooth one. There are the most subtle of chimes, static and minimal repetitious elements that jostle in the background, though nothing that even hints at rising to the level of rhythm. If these piece soundtrack something like the pharmacologically modified mind of contemporary consumerism, then the featureless, dark void of this final piece can only interpreted as the result of an overdose; the final few minutes before coma. 

The overall aesthetic undoubtedly owes a lot to the universe of David Lynch; in particular the notion of the "feminine depressive"; the Laura Palmers and Dorothy Vallens of this world suffering/enjoying in a deeply ambivalent psychosexual state of near collapse. The darkness of Pinkcourtesyphone's music and themes stand in stark opposition to the aesthetic of their record covers; all pink and radiant with untamed life. Yet, when you consider the content of those covers - from the mannequins of debut Foley, Folly, Folio and follow-up Elegant and Detached , to the foreboding abstract spaces of A Ravishment of Mirror and Sentimental Something you begin to realise that what is being recorded here isn't life or its excess, but rather what is un-dead in the life of contemporary capitalism; lives reduced to the unceasing demand for sensation and accumulation. In other words, desire itself, purified of negativity, divested of any object or meaning and simply expanding endlessly across the ruined landscapes of feminine subjectivity. Dark and very prescient stuff. 4/5
(musiquemachine.com)

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S’il y a bien un style musical qui a très vite tendance à tourner en rond, c’est le dark ambient. Et attention, j’adore les ambiances qu’il peut créer, les imaginaires malades ou isolationnistes qu’il engendre. Mais force est de constater que très souvent (et depuis des années), on nous fout un drone réverbéré en fond et ça devrait suffire à justifier une narration, quand elle existe, qui traite de vide, de solitude ou d’obscurité. Bon. Y a malgré tout des électrons libres qui persistent à faire figures d’exceptions dans ce miasme : sans s’attarder sur l’indéboulonnable Lustmord qui nous a encore mis un sacré taquet l’année dernière avec Dark Matter, je pense à Dronny Darko et sa maîtrise imparable des codes du genre, seulement pour mieux les distordre et les plier à ses inspirations nées hors d’un cadre élimé. Il y a aussi Pinkcourtesyphone, qui n’est autre que l’alias relativement expansif d’un certain Richard Chartier, explorant depuis l’aube du millénaire, avec des partenaires de crime, les différentes variables du microsound sur son label Line.

Ce projet solo abandonne presque entièrement l’abstraction quasi-clinique des travaux sortis par Chartier sous son vrai nom, mais chérit précieusement l’expérience de son minimalisme en l’associant à l’exploration d’une réalité décalée en perpétuel remodelage ; Indelicate Slices se pose là comme une des éditions les plus marquantes de l’artiste. Du dark ambient produit de sons aux origines improbablement luxuriantes, des sentiments irrépressibles cachés derrière des portes muettes. Le résultat rigoureux d’une expérience de pensée qui soustrait la réalité à elle-même pour savoir si on obtient bien zéro, mais où l’on souhaite intimement surprendre une réponse qui ébranle nos certitudes. C’est précisément ce qu’il se passe durant ces 70 minutes au ton passif-agressif, au temps relatif et aux délicieux râles de vies oubliées. L’investissement indolore des espaces négatifs qui équilibrent l’existence sans jamais se révéler, et auxquels on rend un hommage éphémère en sept chapitres issus des tréfonds de vallées dérangeantes.

Et que reste-t-il en ôtant tout au Tout ? Il n’est plus question de se fier à la logique qui n’a de valeur que du côté clair du miroir, mais de croire à son intuition, nous confiant à voix basse et avec un sourire complice que le réel n’est palpable que parce que toute intention se destine à accomplir un unique but. On marche au quotidien sur une toile dont les fils sont tendus entre leurs origines absconses et leurs objectifs tangibles ; cependant, tous ne réussissent pas à rejoindre ce pour quoi ils ont été imaginés, et ils échouent donc dans une dimension jumelle recueillant sans discrimination les orphelins de l’infortune. Des limbes existentielles dont l’asymptote tend vers zéro, se jouant sans risques de leur rôle aussi ingrat qu’indispensable. Des craquements et des souffles bouclent éternellement en ces lieux emplis d’une épaisse brume rose aux reflets d’ivoire, et l’on devine que le bruit de fond de ce miroir du monde n’est autre que celui composé par les sons qui ont un jour été émis sans qu’aucun témoin ne puisse les entendre. Des évènements qui ont eu la malchance de perdre le sens de leur existence, et qui expient leur tristesse dans les reliefs d’Indelicate Slices et de son cœur sombre débordant d’amour antagoniste. On le ressent, profondément, qui se distille dans les interstices et dans nos pores comme un poison sucré qu’on ne saurait refuser. Les dissonances terrestres se transfigurent en mélodies incertaines diffusant des réverbérations originellement romantiques et maintenant fantomatiques, le métronome harassant du quotidien s’est tellement imprégné dans nos chairs qu’il saigne désormais de ce flanc invisible de la vie en rythmes familiers dilués. Les fréquences passées sous le seuil d’auto-réalisation renaissent en un courant électrique qui vrombit perpétuellement dans les couloirs sans fin de ce labyrinthe, alimentant le système nerveux du produit altéré de l’imagination qu’est cet album.

Encore une fois, Pinkcourtesyphone excelle dans la description ambivalente de souvenirs tendres et d’initiatives avortées ayant perdu leur raison d’être. La solitude est omniprésente, l’obscurité une menace imminente, mais le tout est réalisé dans une classe et un contre-pied au dark ambient que peu osent, et encore moins réussissent. Une tranche d’indélicatesse exquise comme le ballon de vin rouge millésimé que l’on savoure en regardant le monde se consumer de l’intérieur par sa baie vitrée.
(tartinedecontrebasse.com)

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Richard Chartier ponders another poignant predicament as Pinkcourtesyphone with Indelicate Slices, the project’s ninth full length, arriving after sojourns to The Tapeworm and Champion Version in recent seasons. 

This is contemporary ambient music at its most opulent and intoxicating, sashaying rococo corridors of gold and red velvet smudged to shimmering pink hues, spinning solipsistic thru a permanent twilight zone of pharmaceutical haze, self-medicated and shielded to an omnipresent darkness that lurks beyond the rose beds.

It’s immaculately smashed and illusive music that slips under the skin and stimulates the imagination with uncanny efficiency, emulating none-more-rarified feels between the old world elegance of 'Romantic Threat' and the digital drizzle of 'In Voluptuous Monochrome', secreting some stunningly sensitive, psychedelic passages in the 24 minute piece 'Minimumluxuryoverdose' and the 12 minutes of OOBE like plasmic suspense of 'Above Chandeliers', with the systolic pulse of 'Problematic Interior' rendering something like a recording of an anechoic panic room.
(boomkat.com)

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The main soloist of the US ambient / drone composer Richard Chartier equates to the survival and evolution of a dark enigma: Pinkcourtesyphone is the self-explanatory sign of a mediated listening, "filtered" from the telephone set, but on the other end of the handset there is no " is no voice, only ambient sounds, colors, memories, immature objects with a secret story. A monochrome project in pink that has crossed the catalogs of Room40, Editions Mego, Important Records and Dragon's Eye, to return to Lawrence English today with a new effective accomplishment of his semi-abstract imagery.

The dreamlike sequences of "Indelicate Slices" are like closed-loop cameras, with a strong lynch-like feel on the interior: echoes of underwater balloons, in the manner of Leyland "The Caretaker" Kirby ("Romantic Threat"); threatening and claustrophobic (dark) room tone captured in extended form, until the dense sound image does not become somewhat sharper and characterized; Spectralist symphonies deteriorated in the long journey from an unknowable "Above Chandeliers"; thin and creeping noises above the threshold of silence, upholstery on walls, however mute and disadvantageous, lacking theater of an ever-explicated tragedy ("Minimum Voluptuous Monochrome").

With an essential part of a minimalist school set designer, Chartier prepares and enters into subconscious territories with an elegant step, an impassioned ceremony, and the only guardian of secrets beyond the threshold. Like the image, the flow of time is also illusory, as nothing happens in the dream, everything does not exist alongside sensitive experience. In the case of "Indelicate Slices", however, the awakening has changed in the consciousness - though blurred - of those places where access is denied.
(ondarock.it)

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Indelicate Slices is full of dark looped tracks that could’ve been written for horror movie soundtracks. “A creak, a glance. Nothing is for certain anymore. Seven excellent examples of negative mood music.” That may suggest this could be violent music, but the opposite is true: the most frightening horror is not gory slashers but subtle suspense. And Richard Chartier is very good at subtle suspense. While at the same time, the ‘PCP’ albums also have a touch of relativating humor, which at the same time enhances the musical impact.

Indelicate Slices presents seven tracks (70 minutes) of varied length, ranging from 2 minute sketches ('Problematic Interior (Den)') to a 24 minute atmospheric 'Minimumluxuryoverdose' filled with static crackle, ominous metallic dragging sounds and an inescapable deep rumble.
(ambientblog.net)

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Het moet eind jaren 90, begin jaren 2000 geweest zijn toen we Richard Chartier ontdekten. We wisten toen nog niks over de status die de man geniet in de wereld van de hedendaagse muziek, meer bepaald als één van de grote namen in de microsound. Op die prille leeftijd hadden we weinig met zijn muziek. We werden wel aangetrokken door zijn minimalistische aanpak, maar voelden er niks bij. Als we deze prille werken van de man terughoren, worden we nog steeds niet overweldigd door emoties, maar horen we intussen wel de ongelooflijke kunde. We maakten ook kennis met zijn boeiende geluidsinstallaties in musea.

Pinkcourtesyphone is een ander paar mouwen. Hoewel het project nog maar sinds 2012 bestaat, bracht het reeds 9 albums uit en afgaande op deze cd moeten we die dringend allemaal beluisteren. Dit album staat boordevol sublieme dark ambient maar in plaats van het overdonderende bombast dat het genre vaak teistert, kiest Richard voor stilte en de juiste klank op het juiste moment. En weet je wat? Het werkt nog veel efficiënter. Deze muziek is zeer verhalend, maar laat ook ruimte voor de eigen fantasie. Het werk is hypnotisch en diep en voert je naar de diepste krochten van je onderbewustzijn. Let wel, een oppervlakkige beluistering werkt niet voor dit soort muziek. Dit vergt best wel wat focus en energie, maar wat je ervoor in ruil krijgt, is meer dan de moeite waard.

Dankzij Indelicate Slices ontdekten we ook een voorgaand album, Description of Problem. Het is een plaat met nummers waarop onder meer William Basinski en Cosey Fanni Tutti te gast zijn. Vooral deze laatste laat een ongelooflijk diepe indruk achter met een geladen tekst over misbruik. Description of problem werkt beter door de zware speakers van je stereoketen, dit werkt beter door je hoofdtelefoon. Maar beluister ze gewoon beide, en dan meteen maar ook maar de rest van het oeuvre. Wie weet wordt het voor u een net zo grote ontdekking als voor ons.
(darkentries.be)

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Pour Richard Chartier alias Pinkcourtesyphone, les ambiances se doivent de faire voyager l’auditeur, de le transporter dans des zones de danger et d’inconfort suspendu.  Avec Indelicate Slices, il continue de nous éblouir à travers ses sept nouveaux tracks hantés par des nappes surgissant d’un présent bancal, auréolés de fumées grisâtres et de senteurs auditives abrasives. L’artiste américain compose des ambiances sondant les profondeurs de souvenirs oubliés et ressuscités via le collage minimaliste de tranches de vies détournées de leur contexte original, donnant vie à une existence parallèle gorgée de noirceur inquiétante et de fragilité prêtes à se dissoudre dans le grand bain du temps.  Pinkcourtesyphone floute l’abstraction pour la rendre audible, brouille les pistes pour ouvrir de nouvelles voies, subtilise la délicatesse pour la faire rimer avec subtilité. On est happé par cette dérive viscérale dans un espace aux limites vertigineuses et à la narration fantomatique, broyées par des champs de grésillements lointains à la force sublimée par les va et vient de vagues temporelles faisant la jonction entre passé, présent et futur, révélant une intériorité qui ne demande qu’à être noyée sous ses déluges d’émotions à fleur de peau. Sublime.
(silenceandsound.me)

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Without much information to draw from on the press release we're diving straight into the musical delivery by the Los Angeles-based artist which opens with a "Romantic Threat" which is more of a threat than romantic in its three minute spanning score'esque and futuristic attitude whereas "Lure / Beyond Exactly" provides a spatial journey into Dark Ambient led by slow, hypnotic pulses, evil-worshipping drones and ominous clicks whilst the albums 24 minutes spanning main piece named "Minimumluxuryoverdose" starts with a thundering electric buzz which transforms into a fretful low end modulation accompanied by static crackles and cutting winds recorded on distant planets whilst spiralling, spooky lights flicker and shine on a faraway horizon without being able to dissolve the tunes overall feel of total de- and isolation for a reason. The "Date Of Loss" fuses cold, screeching sonic psychoterror with solemn, ecclasiastical contemplation, "Above Chandeliers" weighs in a long exploration of  Deep Listening Music presenting a feel of unrest and inherent fear alongside beautiful athmospheric strings and a quite unexpected, romantic end sequence whilst the short skit "Problematic Interior (Den)" is more of an excursion into a dystopian future tribal scenario and the final cut "In Voluptuous Monochrome" caters more electrical buzzing, expertly arranged bass waves and a hint of ancient dangers lurking in the dark, unexplored corners of our universe. A close to perfect album, this.
(nitestylez.de)

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Ο Richard Chartier -μινιμαλίστας sound artist με έδρα το Λος Άντζελες- εμφανίζεται ξανά ως Pinkcourtesyphone στο άλμπουμ, «Indelicate Slices» εξερευνώντας έτι περαιτέρω τις εσώτερες σχέσεις μεταξύ χωρικής φύσης του ήχου, σιωπής, αντίληψης και της ίδιας της πράξης της ακρόασης. Στο τελευταίο του δημιούργημα ηχητικά κύματα διαπερνούν τα ακουστικά με σταθερό ρυθμό- αναδύονται διαρκώς από τα βάθη, ενώ καλαίσθητες υπαινικτικές τονικότητες ακούγονται διαρκώς. «Negative mood music»-αρνητικής διάθεσης μουσική, όπως την χαρακτηρίζουν.
(toperiodiko.gr)