NEDEN: Neden (2014)
Updated: Jun 9
“The rhythms, the melodies may sound so simplistic but they sneak their way in our brain to eat it with a fascinating obsession. We just want more!”
1 Far from the Truth 4:07
2 Phantom Marriage 5:47
3 Useless Nest 4:32
4 Modument 1:50
5 Carousel of the Damned One 3:12
6 Gleaming Meadows 6:11
7 Peacock Theme 3:11
8 Shallow Tar Pits 3:44
9 Cat Hat 1:39
10 Ode to Night 2:15
(LP/DDL 36:35) (V.F.)
(Minimalist, Teutonic analog EM)
As long as there will be artists such as Jan Jiskra and Adam Holub, the future of EM to the psychedelicosmic aromas will always be within reach of ears. Visibly inspired by the Teutonic EM movement of the 70's, more particularly Kraftwerk, Neden presents a first album to the soft nightmarish madnesses which will haunt your senses while satiating your curiosity for an EM conceived from analog equipments and acoustic instruments. With a very first album, a quality vinyl of 180gr or in downloadable format only, simply entitled NEDEN, the Czech duet presents 37 minutes of minimalist music with beautiful variations on the same theme. Or almost! Because each track has its small peculiarity which literally bewitches! And as soon as the first second flow, we are entering in a somber theatrical mood which is very near the soil of a band like Picture Palace Music. All this in a robotic mode!
Some slow oscillations lead Far from the Truth towards these delicate serpentines which will coil up all along NEDEN in delicious hypnotic carousels. I hear a mixture of Kraftwerk and Neu! there, without Michael Rother on guitar, on this fascinating spheroidal ballad which swirls and gathers together wonderful sounds (tones of organ, dusty winds and vocoder voices) that our ears had forgotten on the counter of time. Teutonic percussions add more depth to a structure which will come back to haunt our ears with new clothes. Already, the moods get filled of mysteries. And that continues with Phantom Marriage. The tone here is sadder with arpeggios which swirl with a lot of hesitation, drawing a painful march eaten away by agonies and pain. We hear a ghostly rhythm trying to knock down the moods, but Phantom Marriage remains impervious and pursues its inevitable anesthetic tune. Useless Nest is a track with a totally Teutonic flavor. The rhythm is slow. Very slow, contrary to that cheerful and derisive one of Cat Hat. It beats with sober sedative percussions and hums with a sublime singing of organ that arpeggios, as isolated as fickle, decorate with a song of ice. Glaucous pulsations add a very chthonian relief to this black reverie which sees its percussions hammering it by an avalanche of knocks that our ears had not planned. Modument got loose from Useless Nest to offer an even darker spherical ballad. Our ears are magically attracted at this madrigal for damned soul which is Carousel of the Damned One. The music would have had no title that we would have given it that one. Fans of Suspira; this music breathes of its vibes at full nose! Gleaming Meadows is the most beautiful track, imho, of NEDEN. The ambiences and the circular approach are equivalent to what surrounds the 10 structures of this charming album. It's just that its slow melodic carousel is turning with a beautiful singing of flute and with a cloud of prismic sequences which shake its keys as the wind makes sing a scarecrow. This is very immersive. And the songs of the birds, as well as the more piercing singings of the flute, give a clearly more oniric approach to this ballad for lost souls. Peacock Theme is also a very strong track with a superb dance of sequences of which a new series is revealed at each end of tour, like the plumage of a peacock, and swirls with more vivacity at the end of every ritornello. This is a real catchy tune and sweet candy for the ears. Shallow Tar Pits brings us back to a graver theme, as dark as Carousel of the Damned One, with strange voices which mumble a language, that only a colored imagination can identify, in the soft breezes of synth and organ as much soporific as disquieting. Ode to Night concludes this fascinating collection of sound carousels for sleepless minds with an oscillatory rhythm where sing owls, that we identify rather easily, but from which diurnal cooing are laughing at a structure always so black and cabalistic.
Simple melodies which adorn rhythms of a disarming minimalist approach and wrapped of a delicious analog envelope, this first album of Neden is a real rendezvous with time. The time when EM was build piece by piece in the fanciful visions of audacious visionaries. NEDEN is a small jewel. A sonic jewel where everything is cut in the analogue. The rhythms as the melodies swirl indefatigably in our head, like some hypnotic and invading musical itches, in ambiences which move back time. But of the strictly musical side, Jan Jiskra and Adam Holub created a fascinating universe where the line is very thin between the seraphic and the devilish.
Sylvain Lupari (September 6th, 2014) *****
Available at Neden Bandcamp