Andrew CS Credit: Jade Sayson

Multidisciplinary artist Andrew CS moved to Chicago from Rockton, Illinois, in the mid-2010s to study interaction design at Columbia College, and then began booking intimate Sunday DIY shows—but long before either of those things happened, he’d developed an interest in field recordings by playing indie video games. “The first mode of creation that I got into was game development—specifically indie game development,” Andrew told Darwin Grosse in a 2019 interview for the podcast Art + Music + Technology. “I figured just to do that, I need to figure out how to code.” He started coding in middle school, and during his freshman year in high school he asked his parents for a Zune so he could make his own field recordings. Fast-forward to 2019, and his growing catalog of ambient electronic music had helped land him a deal with Leaving Records, an experimental label run by producer Matthew “Matthewdavid” McQueen. Andrew’s newest release for Leaving, an EP that bears the minimalist title *, mixes digital reveries with naturalistic atmospheres, sometimes by turns and sometimes alongside each other. The phalanx of birdcalls that swirls through “Fallen Log Bridge Island” feeds directly into the overheated fanlike whirr of “Fusebox Photograph,” illuminating how these subtle sounds color our daily lives. On “Dead Leaves / Morgan Brown,” Andrew combines gentle, yawning synth tones with what might be a recording of dry leaves crunching or burning, in the process building the kind of immersive sound world that can carry you away from mundane daily tasks. This past year I’ve had trouble making time to explore nearby forest preserves, but Andrew’s work reminds me that the solitude I’ve hoped to find in the woods is always within reach.   v