Chatoyant




Formed in 2013 by an unlikely mixture of noted Detroit musicians, the unique sound and intensity of this instrumental quartet was immediately apparent, earning them a cult following in the American mid-east. 

Following a few short tours and the release of homemade cassettes and CD-Rs, the band’s profile accelerated in 2016. The year began with the first “official” LP release, Psychic Hieroglyphs, and a spring performance at the forward-thinking music festival, Big Ears. May brought the second full-length recording, Place of Other Destination, on the Texas label Astral Spirits as a cassette release. The same year, Detroit’s Metro Times inlcuded Chatoyant in their list of Detroit’s best bands.

The members’ dedication to Chatoyant is all the more remarkable, given the number of projects they have been involved in, including Outrageous Cherry, Wolf Eyes, Viands, The Volebeats, CJS, 696 Blues Band and others.

Matthew Smith (guitar, trumpet)
Joel Peterson (Rhodes, doublebass)
James Baljo (drums)
Marko Novachcoff (winds)



Psychic Hieroglyphs
Released 2016
Detroit Cosmic Music
Available as Digital Album or Vinyl LP

tracks
1. Psychic Hieroglyphs (part 1)
2. Psychic Hieroglyphs (part 2)
3. Numinous Shore
4. Twin Suitors
5. The Maze
6. Dismantled Spaces Invaded


Place of Other Destination
Released May 13, 2016
Astral Spirits
Available as Digital Album and Cassette

tracks
1. Place of Other Destination
2. The Secret No More




What I treasure about this particular Destination is its mellow nature, each member—of which there are four—taking a less-is-more tact and reflecting the groove back to the rest of the group....rookies looking to prove themselves can’t manage such thoughtful aural prose, and once drummer James Baljo breaks into a meandering, cutting trot that kinda swings, it’s all over. The momentum builds; the Rhodes crackles like a campfire; guitarist Matthew Smith unleashes a few of his least assuming swipes of accompaniment, and what we’ve got is a near-perfect confluence of instrumental force, converging in order to consolidate the power of the unit. That’s all you need to know; Place of Other Destination is the first I’ve heard of Chatoyant, and while that’s depressing this CAN’T be one of those groups that blows my mind then disappears. Can they?—Grant Gumshoe Purdum, Tiny Mix Tapes

...Side B, “The Secret No More,” with some nice arco work from Peterson early on and impressive blowing from Novachoff later, may be even better for my money than its counterpart—perhaps a tad less exploratory and a tad more surefooted, up to and including the album’s beautifully mellow, almost tender final moments.
—Eric McDowell, The Free Jazz Collective

Nothing is quite what it seems with Chatoyant, which is perhaps the aim of the whole thing, as each of the four players staunchly deviate from their respective musical norms. ... It’s hookless, raw, and instinctive, but there’s something addictive about this music’s sheer unknowability. —Tristan
Bath, Spool’s Out

...when assembled together in this configuration, the members offer their own take on free improvisation, eschewing the confines of genres but definitely leaning toward a sort of spiritual free jazz vibe and quasi-psychedelia but not in obvious trope-filled ways...it’s a messy, spirited album that may appeal to fans of cosmic free jazz, being the sonic equivalent of a jury-rigged spaceship with a faulty navigational system powered by an unlimited supply of fuel. —Ernie Paik, Metro Pulse

local warped astronauts
 of post-jazz ambient stoner music
a sound everywhere and nowhere
a shadow
inside an echo chamber of the Miles O-mind
the children of Sharrock, Ayler & King Crimson
right now
 a card game with no faces 
at
the casino of ruins

side one: 
longish track w/ jeweled Egypt mountain 
dashing sonic waves
astral lightning bugs
a tombstone rubbing from Max Ernst
the pagan Viking dust
 squints a new language of Moondog

second course:
side of blind cave fish
wandering the lost lagoons & cherry blossom snow showers with juicy nugget center
dazzled by Kandinsky and Mucha light fountains
dessert course for Christmas:
 Dali's diamond encrusted éclairs
 and the crème-filled stopwatch of McCoy Tyner
a twinkle from the stolen dreams and golden apples
of Captain Hook
Chatoyant and the art of un-fixing a sound
dig fellow time-travelers

    —DJ Ratfink aka Cary Loren (Destroy All Monsters, Monster Island) for Metro Times "Best of Detroit Music 2016" in response to Psychic Hieroglyph release