Greg Kennelty (Chalk Portraits)

Greg Kennelty - Chalk Portraits

In this offering, we get up close and personal with New Jersey based musician Greg Kennelty. Chalk Portraits is home to Greg’s ongoing ambient experiments. Greg also writes for Metal Injection, Invisible Oranges and Gear Gods.

The first record I ever bought with my own money was…

I didn’t get into vinyl until a few years ago, so I know for a fact the first record I ever bought was the 2018 repressing of Control Denied’s The Fragile Art Of Existence. What an incredible record. The double vocal attack of Chuck Schuldiner and Tim Aymar is fantastic, and them being backed by Richard Christy, Shannon Hamm, and Steve DiGiorgio was just perfection. It’s such a shame Schuldiner never got to explore this sound more, because I really think Control Denied would’ve had a legendary discography.

The record that made me want to make music was…

For ambient and synth-heavy experimental music, the record that made me want to make music was the Teachings in Silence compilation by Ulver. I have the only vinyl pressing of that compilation, titled Silence Teaches You How To Sing / Silencing The Singing and pressed by Ampullae Audio in 2014, that I listen to a good amount. I remember hearing “Not Saved” a while ago for the first time and being completely blown away that despite it being 10-plus minutes long and bare bones in terms of variety, it was so enthralling! I still can’t tear myself away from that song. It inspired me in a pretty massive way, though I didn’t really have the confidence in myself to act on that inspiration until this year with Chalk Portraits. But yeah, Teachings in Silence was the start for me.

The record I’ve played more than any other is…

Visions by Haken. I’ve been listening to that album for 10 years and I still have no idea what the story is about! But the music is amazing. The title track is this big, long prog epic that closes out the album and the last six minutes or so might be some of my favorite music I’ve ever heard in terms of sheer emotional power. It’s a record that takes you on a ride, and the playing and songwriting are both incredible. I’m so glad there was a repress of Visions recently, though the amount that I play it maybe I should’ve bought two…

The record that always make me feel good is…

I Get Wet by Andrew WK. What a fun rock record. There are a lot of great riffs on there, but I just love it because it has such an upbeat and fun energy. I only recently found out Obituary drummer Donald Tardy drummed on the record, which is cool.

The record I turn to when I’m feeling down is…

The Sunset Tree by The Mountain Goats, though I could go with just about any Mountain Goats record. John Darnielle has a way with words the likes of which I’ve never heard before, and he’s got a song for anything. The Sunset Tree always hits hard though, especially if you’re feeling down. Plus, who doesn’t need a chorus that says “I am going to make it through this year / if it kills me” in their lives? The Mountain Goats is a dangerous vinyl rabbit hole to go down, though it’s certainly too late for me.

The record with my favorite cover art is…

Right now I’ll go with my recent obsession, The Hunter by Mastodon. It’s a crisp photograph of a woodworking piece titled Sad Demon Oath by AJ Fosik, and the detail is really fun to explore.

The strangest LP I own is…

None that come to mind, but I know at some point Disney pressed the soundtrack and narration to the Haunted Mansion ride on vinyl. So I’d like to grab that at some point if I can.

The rarest LP I own is…

I’m going off Discogs data here, so forgive me if these aren’t that big a deal! In terms of box sets, the rarest thing I own is the Milky White version of the Beacons 10-Year Anniversary And Bulk Of The Series Box Set by Cloudkicker, and for a single LP it’s the original white 2015 pressing of Sorni Nai by Kauan. I’d also like to give the Live At Third Man Records by Sleep box set a shout out because I’m still really excited that I found that at a local shop once.

The last LP I bought was…

The Relapse repressing of Soma by Windhand! I’ve wanted that record for a while, and I’m really glad they repressed it. Relapse Records rules.

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Chalk Portraits’s latest album, Memory, was released on May 7, 2021. It’s available as a digital download on Chalk Portraits’s Bandcamp.

Links
https://chalkportraits.bandcamp.com/
https://twitter.com/TheGregKennelty

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Published by Ken

I'm a very tired, black coffee drinking curmudgeon who has been collecting records and cassettes for over forty years. I primarily listen to metal, 80s alternative and jazz. Torche and The Body are my favorite bands to collect.

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