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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari


Updated: Apr 4, 2020

This is an amazing album where the unexpected takes on its full meaning in a sound envelope that always transcends the limits of DiN Records' creativity

1 Dusk is the Musk 7:29

2 Running Rings 6:25

3 You can see my House from up Here 5:27

4 Done Processing 5:59

5 Dutch Knowledge 6:29

6 Ghost Dog 7:50

7 Lethargy 6:18

8 M606 7:22

9 Black Foot 4:19

10 Older 5:17

11 The Lost art of Peace 7:28

DiN 61 (CD/DDL 70:54) (V.F.)

(Electronica, Psybient, Psybeats)

We are used to seeing the name of Nigel Mullaney with that of Jonathan Jowett, and most recently with Ian Boddy in the splendid Schemes & Ruses at the end of 2019. In fact, 31 seems to be his very first solo album. This title stems from a project that Nigel has imposed on himself; either to compose a title a day all the month of January 2018. In the studio or on the road, each of these titles were recorded without overdubs or mixing. This resulted in over 4 hours of material that Ian Boddy carefully listened to and organized, as he does so well with the Index compilations, in a long 70-minute music mosaic divided in 11 titles. The result is a completely attractive album where the unexpected takes on its full meaning in a sound envelope that always transcends the limits of DiN Records' creativity.

It's in a form of tribal Electronica that seraphic synth waves push Dusk is the Musk towards this new adventure all in sounds out of DiN. Their chants draw arches of serenity with good orchestrations which aim at a pinnacle of intensity. We hear flutes moaning as the movement turns into wind with a clarinet that sings in a new nucleus of intensity. Pulsations, around the 4th minute, gently direct the music towards a percussions' sphere where various elements forge a nicely disordered structure which leaves plenty of room for this clarinet and its Arabic airs. Running Rings announces the true colors of 31 with reverberation lines that sculpt a rhythmic framework in a universe of psybient. The rhythm is catchy with very variegated sound effects which compete with a high yield of percussive effects and its organic derivatives. We stamp our feet and roll our necks, until a brief interlude of atmospheres revives a clearly more animated structure. Great Electronica! You can see my House from up Here offers a flotation zone between an Electronica not too hard and a good synth-pop well surrounded by various effects of underlying rhythms and by a fauna of sound effects much more interesting than the rhythm. This fauna rich in modular synth innovations and the multiple derivatives of percussive effects enhance the very progressive dimension of this album. After a struggle between very active oscillating lines which plays out in a very interesting soundscape, Done Processing stands out by offering a curt rhythm which is fixed to good percussions and these oscillating lines imbued with bass. We are at the limit of a big English electronic rock here. And it seems that the more we advance in 31, the more the sound effects become more originals. Dutch Knowledge is a wonderful piece! A musical drama impregnated with a fairly intense cinematic vision, at the level of orchestral arrangements and atmospheres, which gives us shivers to the soul while makes floating and intertwining the hairs of our arms.

A floating strobe movement pulls Ghost Dog to our ears. Closer to the Cosmos than the bowels of our Earth, the psychedelic and morphic atmospheres cause the Ghost Dog vessel to drift until it is harpooned by a curt rhythm which is animated by percussions and their percussive gases. Possibly an Ambient House, the rhythmic structure trains our feet but keeps our mind firmly riveted on this envelope of psybient which will encircle the title into an ambient final. Here, like on the finale of Dusk is the Musk, a piano reminds us of the scale of dimensions that exists in 31. Lethargy is livelier with loops of rhythmic oscillations well fixed to percussion in a genre of floating Hip-Hop. The percussive fauna and sound effects here are even more imaginative than at the start of the adventure of this first solo album by Nigel Mullaney. With Older, M606 offers the most rhythmic textures of the album. The lines of jerky oscillations which revolve around a bass line with organic chords cling to percussion patterns from the world of Dance Music! It's very catchy with lines of sequences as jerky as they are manipulated in the form of dribbles. The structure hesitates between the branches offered by more meditative phases before resuming its usual form. As for Older, it keeps its foot on the accelerator with its structure heavy of its clouds of radioactive oscillations. As of the opening and its bass pulsations, we know that Black Foot will be cut in the mystery of heavy and slow rocks à la The Cure. It's an intense track with continuous riff lines that bellow in an environment pecked by multiple sound effects. It’s the kind of music for horror movies with a gothic vision. The second part is simply amazing! Imagine now when followed by Older! And how to conclude this magnificent album? With a title as intense and poignant, minus the arrangements, as Dutch Knowledge. And that's what the slow and suggestive rhythm of The Lost art of Peace offers. What a way to conclude a splendid album which is tamed more easily than one could imagine after the few 120 seconds…

Sylvain Lupari(March 14th, 2020) ****½*

Available at DiN's Bandcamp

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