Chakra Efendi on ‘I of the Err’ – The Album That Almost Didn’t Happen
February 24th 2022
After an extended musical hibernation, Chakra Efendi has re-emerged with their self-produced LP ‘I of the Err’. It’s a powerful debut; both reaching and very personal, and it almost didn’t happen. Chakra joined Darren Lesaguis on Arvos last week to talk through all the things that make ‘I of the Err’ so special.
At the end of 2019, Chakra was ready to quit music and move overseas. But the pandemic drastically altered their plans:
“I was stuck in Australia at the start of 2020, I was meant to move to Indonesia but that didn’t happen for obvious reasons. And was I so frustrated with my identity as a musician that I ended up doing this meditation where I characterised my identity as an artist sitting in front of me. It sounds esoteric but it was cathartic but it dissolved in that meditation and I was free to make music again as a person as opposed to as an artist with a career. And that’s an ethos that has kept through for the last couple of years.”
That sense of personal liberation colours ‘I of the Err’. It was constructed from an archive of iPhone recordings, unearthed from several years of unheard snippets and demos. The recordings, dug up during a lockdown spent on the Sunshine Coast, served as the seeds of the songs. What followed was a process of layering vocals, synths and guitars to create the 11 tracks.
Nostalgia permeates the album – Chakra is a self-described “sentimental person”:
“I think there’s a lot of beauty in documenting things from the past – there’s a certain energy around sentimental objects… It accumulates over time and my connection with nostalgia is probably the strongest connection I have to my emotions. When I found these songs, it was like a portal. It sent me back to the room I recorded it in, the feelings I was going through at the time, the thoughts and everything that inspired it. It was really fun to play with that idea of nostalgia on this album. The songs are like time capsules.”
‘I of the Err’ is all of this and more – a vulnerable and joyous return from the enigmatic artist. Equal parts sentimental and forward-facing, it’s a welcome return from Chakra Efendi. Let’s hope that there are more iPhones to be found.
Listen to Chakra’s full interview with Darren Lesaguis up top, or stream ‘I of the Err’ below.