Nathan Fake Steam Days

Nathan FakeSteam Days
Nathan Fake disappointed a fair number of people with his 2009 mini-album, Hard Islands, the follow-up to his breakout 2005 debut, Drowning in a Sea of Love. Where his kosmische- and IDM-flavoured debut drew favourable comparisons to the likes of M83 and Boards of Canada, which left the schizophrenically beat-driven Hard Islands to raise more questions than answers, Steam Days takes from both to make the most definitive statement yet from the Norfolk producer. The album begins with heavy dance floor beats that persist through much of the album, but they are clearly more evolved than his last effort, more in line with the recent 4/4 work of Four Tet, the ambient techno of Actress and the finest acid of Luke Vibert. There are plenty of moments that recall the hazy, simmering shoegaze and sideways quirk from his debut, but they're more fully integrated into his heavy, minimal, progressive sound. Steam Days should finally break Fake free of Boards of Canada's imposing shadow. Fake is for real. (Border Community)