Reviewed By: Matt Sever
Forthcoming on the recently revived Exalt Records – Norken & Nyquist – Go Polonius.
After a ten year hiatus Exalt Records are back. The London based label has a few releases lined up that I have had the privilege of listening to, and the future sounds amazing! I recommend you check their website/shop out here – shop.exalttshirts.co.uk/ they have a collection of cool t-shirts as well as vinyl and CD’s. Prior to their ten-year musical stop gap, they released artists such as – UNKLE, Future Beat Alliance and Pilote. Lined up now are Norken & Nyquist (obviously!), WRNR and John Shima with more to come. This is a label to watch.
Norken & Nyquist are Lee Norris and Frank Rumpelt. Lee Norris, aka Norken, has also released under Man-Q-Neon, Metamatics and Nacht Plank. He founded the Neo Ouija label, which was initiated in 2000. They had released over 30 records by 2005, amongst them, some critically acclaimed debuts. The labels website is neoouija.info. Frank Rumpelt, aka Nyquist, also has a assortment of aliases; Aromatonique, Beta Consciousness, Echtzeit, Meridian Six, Optokoppler, and Silver Planet. Both of these guys deserve some time delving into their respective worlds.
On to the important part, A1 – Invisible Reflections starts with a four/four kick encircled by a lush looped pad melody, next another bass/kick sound comes in with a snare on a broken beat tip. Next is my fave – echoing, clicking hypnotic percussion instantly brings that groove that I could just listen to for hours. Another pad line dances back and forth between my ears, perfect programming brings various other percussion patterns in and out. The arrangement of this track is amazing, it has understated funk, a laid-back hypnotic feel, it sounds old but new, and it sounds clever in a modest way.
The flipside Love Simulation is an electro track. An electro kick and snare pattern pushed along by a muffled background synth, slightly distorted, but in a smooth, not jagged way if that makes sense. A bassline line that is more like a stab that goes up and down comes in, extra percussion lines, and some beautiful sporadic melodies. Again, the arrangement of subtle changes, percussion loops build and drop the intensity and drive of the track. Nothing obvious or formulaic, just beautiful sounds expertly moulded together.
I love music, new, old, and from many different genres, I’m open to anything. I love a bit of raw dirty simple music as much as the next person, but when I hear something like this it blows me away. It really is beautiful, intelligent music that also has a hypnotic groove for the right dancefloor. I am at the very early stages of attempting to produce my own music, this simply makes my jaw drop. These two guys obviously really know their stuff, I will continue to delve into their back catalogues, and Exalt Records have an eye for quality that I will be following from now on. Awesome stuff.