Justin Walter Lullabies & Nightmares

Justin Walter Lullabies & Nightmares
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Ann Arbor, MI Afrobeat revivalists NOMO have always employed a McLuhan-esque approach to their craft, allowing a breadth of instrumentation to shape their sound and musical outlook. On Lullabies & Nightmares (the debut album from NOMO trumpeter Justin Walter), the Brooklynite creates 11 improvised, first-take compositions written and performed using only electronics, drums, trumpet and the mysterious Electronic Valve Instrument. Although Walter allows tonality and performance to define each track, melody and song structure are treated with the same glassy-eyed reverence. "Dream Weaving" balances a wobbling rhythm with an aggrieved EVI moan, while "Plastic People" comes off like a stripped-down version of Miles Davis's post-fusion work, using commodious trumpet lines to accentuate sci-fi synth phrasings. Working with multi-instrumentalist Erik Hall and drummer Quinn Kirchner, Walter's improv overdubs come off remarkably fluid and lucid, making Lullabies & Nightmares a rewarding listen for both the adventurous and the communal electronic music fan. (Kranky)