Track: Chaz Knapp – ’97F At 9PM’: The Texas heat captured in off-centre organ drune

Chaz Knapp

CHAZ KNAPP, the Dallas-based lo-fi organ frontiersman whose previous single drop, the warm ‘n’ weird “My TMJ Pain Might Be An Abscess” and accompanying blood-soaked video we fell down the rabbit hole of at the back end of January, has just dropped another self-styled drune, “97F At 9PM”, full of the Texas heat. Come drench in that.

Organ heat drizzles sweat in a rising drone, pulsing and cycling, crackling away with an almost ambient bliss in the melody; an ersatz Seventies’ spaciness and stoner quality to that astral melody rubbed and smeared with Trinity River mud, or as if Jean-Michel Jarre had been bodysnatched by Tim Hecker, who’d then found himself a clapboard shack out past the city limits, shootin’ car present and correct.

Like the preceding single, “97F At 9PM” is culled from Chaz’s playfully experimental Organ Drunes album, a series of solo performances for a second-hand Yamaha YC45-D electric organ, which will be coming along right at the start of April there on figureight.

Created as a kind of “letting go” of over-complex musicality and Chaz’ previous output as a composer of sombre piano-and-string elegies, Organ Drunes brings back the fun and the humour and the happy accident; freeform, paying homage to the holy drone, somehow still just about recognisable as dance music, mimeographed many times until its shape is just in there somewhere as a Rorscach test image. Is that what you see? Now look again. Verrrry interesting.

“I realized I can’t always control the music. Sometimes you need to let the music control you. I was finally able to let it,” Chaz says.

“97F At 9PM”, Chaz says, “… was recorded on a day in the summer in Texas, 2020 

“”I went to my front yard to mix how I normally do and was getting exhausted because it was 97 at 9pm. Texas evenings only seem to get warmer and that has always been quite hard for me.”

The entire album was written for a single piece of equipment with a fitting off-kilter backstory, as Chaz recounts: “I purchased a Yamaha YC45-D combo organ off of eBay seven years ago.

“I was living in Missouri and the organ was nine hours away in Tennessee. I drove down a long dirt road at midnight until I finally got to the guy’s house in the middle of nowhere. A very eerie night and a very quick transaction and getaway.”

Chaz Knapp’s Organ Drunes will be released digitally and on cassette by figureight records on April 2nd and is available to pre-order over at Bandcamp as we speak.

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