Published Nov 04, 2015Some may remember Jojo Mayer for his legendary Prohibited Beatz nights in NYC; others might recall him as the drummer who got a bunch of jazz musicians to play live drum and bass at the turn of the century. While Prohibited Beatz might be well and truly finished, Mayer still leads a live electronic band, only now he's replace the drum and bass with... well, everything.
Ghosts of Tomorrow is a true melting pot of sounds, offering up a host of familiar styles in a wholly unfamiliar way. The album seamlessly flips from rhythmic house on "Weekend Vampire" to the jazzy IDM of "Maneki Neko" with such ease that one can scarcely remember the dub squelches from album opener "Triptych." But these genre identifiers only paint half the story. For every perceptible style throughout the album, there's a plethora of unknown elements surrounding it. Ghosts of Tomorrow constantly offers you a recognizable core, but it's consistently shrouded, almost entirely, in obscurity.
It's not just Nerve's innovation that makes the album so enjoyable — yes, it's something different, but they get plenty kudos for that — but the flair with which they deliver it. Perhaps there are bands out there that can match pummelling bass lines with funky synths, video game flutters and quick-fire drums — as on the superb "Hard Hat Era" — but it's doubtful that any could pull it off as well. (Independent)