Nathan Fake DEGREELESSNESS
Published Nov 30, 2016Nathan Fake's strengths seem to be in bridging the melodic IDM of acts like Boards of Canada with more aggressive techno rhythms and thumping bass. A strong influence in this respect might be Aphex Twin, known for his groundbreaking work in the extremes of both aggression and ambience.
The romantic, BoC-indebted melodic haze of his earlier work is mostly absent from the first half of this EP, the eight-minute "DEGREELESSNESS," featuring Prurient. Instead, off-kilter bass drums rumble under an insistent hi-hat, while cool synth flourishes bubble forth from the ether. Around fives minutes in, a creepy melody sounding like a cross between slap bass and a harpsichord from hell takes centrestage for a unique and captivating climax. Prurient is an excellent choice for this collaboration; Fake is strongest when pushing outside his melodic safe zone, and Prurient's 2015 LP, Frozen Niagara Falls, showcased the majesty that's possible when a harsh noise artist pushes into melodic territory.
"Now We Know" sounds like Gold Panda's "Marriages" (or the excellent Baths remix) with a soft, warm synth part that sounds like it's triggered from an MPC. Even the sort of clave-like metallic percussion sound and the woody "snare" sound are things that could feature in a Gold Panda tune as well. Around three minutes in, these elements start falling away, and instead lofty synth clouds billow for about a minute of dreaminess. Then hi-hat and pumping bass drum push towards ecstasy amid filter-swept synth chords. Approaching seven minutes, the chords are frozen, unchanging for several seconds, and then the percussion is left alone for the denouement.
It's a pretty exciting effort from an artist who doesn't stop growing. Hopefully, his first full-length in four years is next on the horizon. (Ninja Tune)