Title: Meditations of a G
Label: Chargaux Records
Release date: September 29, 2016
Chargaux consists of violinist Jasmin “Charly” Charles and violist Margaux Whitney, who met by chance when Margaux saw Charly playing violin on a Boston street corner. The next day, they were playing together on the street corner and have been collaborators ever since. The two have worked with a variety of high profile artists, providing the solo at the end of Kendrick Lamar’s “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe” as well as the strings on J.Cole’s past two albums, 2014 Forest Hills Drive (2014) and 4 Your Eyez Only (2016). More than just string players, though, the two also sing, paint, compose, and are all around performance artists, as seen from their installation performances in New York City.
Meditations of a G is eclectic and more experimental than 2014’s Gallerina Suites and Broke and Baroque. The duo plays homage to their classically trained roots, opening the EP with the sounds of a tuning orchestra on “First Chair.” From there, the project spreads into a minimalist direction, and could sit comfortably between projects like Solange’s A Seat at the Table (2016) or FKA Twigs LP1 (2014). Although much of the album has an effortless groove about it, one can still hear the intricacy and complexity of the production, particularly in the more elaborate string arrangements, found on songs like “Sosha Media” and “Tie Your Fukn Shoes.” There is a welcome amount of humor throughout the EP, especially in “Trap Yoga,” an interlude consisting of the two narrating a yoga class, complete with reimagined trap poses over a pizzicato groove.
Chargaux has many strengths, one of which being their ability to transform the textures of their instruments, creating a different soundscape within each song. Overall, this is a beautiful project, showcasing the growth of Charly and Margaux as instrumentalists, producers, singers, and overall artists.
Reviewed by Allie Martin