OST [SLP017], the staggering solo debut from British musician Caroline Haines, AKA Chaines, gathers studio realisations of three commissions completed since 2013’s SPLIT, with Tom Rose. Though written for specific occasions, the pieces are united by a sense of uneasy melodrama, and hallucinogenic flow.
Lead cut ‘OST’ is a 20-minute epic written in collaboration with visual artist Mary Stark (vocals) where cartoonish, Rammstein-style aggression, plaintive guitar lines, and clunking glitch form an impish portrait of the UK’s north-eastern industry. But ‘OST’ is also a sincere love-letter to analogue film, with plush orchestral samples, and Stark’s disembodied voice tenderly blooming from the rubble.
'OST'’s remaining works frame its centrepiece. ‘Here’ - written for Laurie Tompkins’ 2013 Handy tour - is a whistled ode to twilight inebriation, accompanied by faint keys, revving cars, and Badalamenti synths. On ‘I Found This’, Chaines’ warbled melodies merge with Oliver Coates’ muted cello, offset by tickling percussion and recorder chorales. Though OST operates in a place entirely its own, it is perhaps best compared with the work of similarly iconoclastic contemporaries such as Elysia Crampton, Mica Levi, and Dean Blunt.
1. Here - 5:05
2. OST1 - 7:24
3. OST2 - 3:15
4. OST3 - 10:04
5. I Found This - 5:44
Mastered by Rupert Clervaux
CHAINES (Cee Haines) is a musician based in Manchester, UK, who writes surreal and fantastical electronica and electro-acoustic music. Their recent album, 'The King', was receieved with enthusiastic critical praise; it was ranked in FACT magazine's top 25 albums of 2018's first quarter, was made Boomkat's album of the week, and Robert Barry of The Wire called it 'vast in scope, rich in execution'. As well as their solo electronic work, CHAINES' has also worked extensively with the London Contemporary Orchestra. Commissions for the LCO have always been electro-acoustic in nature, using both small and orchestral scale ensembles with electronics, premiering works at venues such as The Royal Albert Hall (BBC Proms 2018), Tate Modern (Uniqulo's Tate Lates series 2017) and the Roundhouse (Ron Arad's Curtain Call 2016). They have been in residency with SAY award winner Anna Meredith and Grammy Award winner Imogen Heap, improvising, performing and producing audio and video. They graduated The Royal Northern College of Music in 2013 with a 1st class honours in Composition and Contemporary Music. They also identify as non-binary, so the 'they' in this biography is not a grammatical error.