Published Oct 07, 2015There is a strong case to be made for difficult music, those albums that only reveal themselves after repeated listening, but there isn't always a reward; sometimes, those albums never seem to bloom, and it can be truly tiring.
Co La's No No falls somewhere in between. Armed with a military drum beat and stuttering sample, lead single "Suffering (Tuesday)" hits the mark, undergoing a glamorous transformation after the first minute when a male voice says plainly: "Suffering." Human speech has long been a trope of electronic music, and Co La employs vocals in consistently understated ways. No No is fundamentally an album of well-curated samples, and for the most part, they're expertly executed.
But then there are the tiring parts, songs like "Gush" and "Barricade," which are playfully obnoxious, treating the listener with ambivalence. Near the end of the album, we get a taste of Co La coming across maybe a little too flatly on the mellowed jam "Tragedy."
With a few of its tracks trimmed off, No No could have made a great EP, but as it stands, it's equal parts fun and frustration. (Software/1080p)