Review – “Nascent” – Pretty in Noise (DE)

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(Translation from German) “Splendid Minimalism”

“Ambient solo guitar. One could describe this genre as long, atmospheric pieces or soundscapes, performed live by a single guitar and a large catalog of audio effects devices, especially Loop Stations; allowing guitarists to coax a simple guitar into an equally large catalog of different sounds and to develop an epic in its entirety. This is very much the case of the collaborative album, ‘Nascent;’ offering thirteen pieces presenting atmospheric sound passages that Graham creates with the use of proprietary hardware and software tailored for a specific purpose. The album is promoted by the label, ‘Fluttery Records’ as a musical release developed through the refinement of a series of live improvised performances. Here, the question arises, how much of the album is live and how much is post-production, how many guitars and how many computers can now be found on the album? The album itself can be described as light, drone-based, ambient, transparent; echoic guitars strumming gently and gracefully in the foreground. The album somehow conveys water; sometimes clear and cold, sometimes rippling, sometimes swift, elusive, ever-changing. The first four tracks maintain a minimalist, albeit epic soundscape feel, when suddenly the fifth piece, ‘Keep Me (143),’ plunges into ambient realms using only a subtle bass line, female vocals and a few bit-crushed rhythmic elements – this approach makes it a very good piece. The fragile, detached mood, obtained by this subtle but very stylistic piece definitely stands out in a positive way. There could have been more quiet moments to follow, but instead the album builds again into instrumental, minimalist sculptures, synthesized and modulated sounds, stacked layer-on-layer. Overall, it is a difficult album to further describe precisely in its entirety without time and the same hackneyed terms. However, one is presented with splendid minimalism, which can lift you with its bright, clear and transparent sound. One hears a high level of layered sounds and maintained sound sculptures, but everything is still sophisticated enough that nothing is sinking into the mud of a drone.”

Original review in German available from here.

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