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Photo: T. Ayalik
Photo: T. Ayalik

CHXMERAS Start at the End of the Line On Terminal City

Paul Finlay and Jarrett Martineau’s debut electronic collab offers a cinematic snapshot of a city in flux.

by Hollie McGowan 

Vancouver-based electronic music duo CHXMERAS recently dropped their debut album, Terminal City, capturing the rhythm of their west coast surroundings with high caliber musical craftsmanship.  

CHXMERAS is the brainchild of UK/Canadian musician Paul Finlay and nêhiyaw/Denesuline artist Jarrett Martineau. Their musical collaboration was founded on a shared love of hip-hop, ambient, electronic, dub, and techno music, all of which is evident throughout the album’s 11 tracks. Haunting, textured, and complex, each track is its own journey taking you deeper into the hypnosis of modular synths and intricate rhythms. 

Opening with “GORE AVE,” Terminal City starts at a slower pace, gently enticing the listener before taking things up a notch with “SUBTERRAIN,” a track that showcases the duo’s penchant for syncopation. By the time the album makes its way to its single, “MEMORIA”, the listener is fully in the grips of CHXMERAS’ musical spell. Opening with an infectious shuffling beat, the track unfolds into a multilayered cinematic masterpiece. 

The album also journeys into dubbier territory with tracks like “CURTIS” and “SKIMMER,” which include atmospheric reverb and trippy, distorted vocals. “TERRAFORM” showcases the duo’s ability to flex their synthwave muscles for any fans of the Stranger Things soundtrack before sealing the deal with “AFTERLIFE.”

Terminal City is an album that should be listened to on a proper sound system as it commands your full attention. CHXMERAS have set the bar high for their electronic music peers. Hopefully, it’s only the first of many from the transatlantic team.