Electro-acoustic composer and modular synth enthusiast John Chantler was born near Brisbane, Australia, but has spent much of his life outside the country, residing in Japan, South London, and Stockholm, Sweden. Following a few limited releases on his own Inventing Zero Records (which also issued an early 7" by Ben Frost), Chantler's full-length debut Monoke was one of the first releases on Lawrence English's Room40 label. At this time, Chantler's music was sparse, downtempo glitch. Following the album's release, he contributed to recordings by Japanese artists such as experimental psych ensemble Maher Shalal Hash Baz, glitch-pop diva Tujiko Noriko, and indie pop duo Tenniscoats. He formed drone-folk duo For Barry Ray with Swedish musician Carina Thorén; the duo's debut full-length, New Days, was issued by Room40 in 2007. Chantler collaborated with Noriko and English on 2008 full-length U. Chantler and English also worked under the name Holy Family, resulting in limited cassettes issued by Digitalis and Sanity Muffin.
Chantler's first solo full-length of modular synth compositions, the stunning The Luminous Ground, appeared on Room40 in 2011. Later in the year, the limited Automatic Music LP came out on Inventing Zero. Automatic Music, Vol. II was issued on cassette by The Tapeworm in early 2014, and the dark, unsettling Even Clean Hands Damage the Work followed on Room40 later in the year. Chantler experimented with combining modular synths and pipe organ for his subsequent concerts, as well as Still Light, Outside, issued by 1703 Skivbolaget in 2015. The following year, Room40 released Chantler's most melodic album to date, Which Way to Leave?, which featured contributions from Thorén and avant-garde cellist Okkyung Lee. ~ Paul Simpson