"Hotplate is the chosen name of Iain Chambers, who started playing guitar at 17 and references John Fahey, Charlie Patton, Tortoise, Autechre, Animal Collective and Scheherezade as inspirations. However, it was Fahey's music that provided a framework for the Hotplate sound and encouraged Chambers to engage with the guitar as a solo instrument. Somehow all these influences work their way into Hotplate's finger-picking and powerful rhythms. This persistent thrum comes naturally to Chambers -- as a teenager he was a successful basketball player while today he plays drums and guitar in emerging post-rock outfit Angela Valid. Elephas showcases seven new tracks, beginning with 'A Father's Grip,' a considered blues anthem that sets the Hotplate sound in motion. After the opener, the record starts to explore new depths, with the atmospheric 'Going to Bill's' and the epic 'Requiem' -- recorded live at the Red Deer Club last November -- changing key, rhythm and tunings throughout. Hotplate moves freely between an emotive guitar style, reminiscent of '60s John Fahey, and a playful melodic approach, with the introspection of the second and third tracks countered by the short and sweet 'Blackheart Blues (A Sea Shanty)', before moving back into the slow atmospheric slide of 'Royal Oak'. The lighthearted riffing of the 'The Drink. The Sound. The Sea.' is coupled in a medley with the deep strums of 'Elephas,' using this contrast between bright melody and introspective depth to great effect, before 'Sandy-Haired Girl' brings the Hotplate sound back to the surface, playing out the harmony until the album ends. At 48 minutes, Elephas is an outstanding piece of work. Chambers has played a string of quality live performances over the last year, on the London circuit and on the road to Manchester, notably the 'In the City' Festival and Red Deer Club. In June, he recorded a live session for Tom Ravenscroft's Channel 4 Radio Slashmusic podcast and will be gigging throughout the summer, including a date in Amsterdam with the Transformed Dreams label crew. Hotplate is founding member of World in Winter Recordings, a label and collective of musicians set up in 2005 in London and encouraging collaborations between the likes of Voice of the Seven Woods, All Traps Set, James Rutledge, Angela Valid, Pedro, Colours and Chapters."