Thursday 14 November 2013


Where did this even come from? Where does stuff like this spring up from? Whence is it created? Well, maybe it just turns out I'm a complete idiot and everyone knows about this already. In which case, I apologise. I don't ever pretend to be THE PLACE 2 GO 2 4 MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT. I just write stuff about stuff I like. If you like it too, then that is really good and I'm glad about that. But in all seriousness I do wonder this: just WHERE was this hiding? And WHY was it hiding in the first place? It's like The Hunchback Of Notre-Dame, except it turns out it's not a hunchback or an ogre or anything remotely ugly at all. So what ya doing swingin' in the rafters, Nitemoves?

It's really a perfectly understandable yet a little irrational question on my part. Who am I to inquire? Well, a person, a person with a mind that likes to inquire. But that's neither here nor there. The point is: this is lovely. Like I said, it's from Nitemoves, aka Rory O'Connor, who is from Washington DC. Having played alongside and as a part of the likes of Com Truise and Tycho, and releasing a debut album, his second album is now here and it's lovely; it's called Themes and as it's in the plural you can indeed expect it to be as varied as that plurality suggests. From high energy drum-and-bass-fuelled adventures into collections virtuoso sounds twisting together à la second half of opener 'Polypel', to classic chill-out sounds in 'Mikuni', which lives in an undersea world of smooth bass, analogue drums and reverbing pitch-bent piano chords supporting sun-on-sea synth melody glittering, this is certainly an album of differing themes.

There is this chilled quality dotted around these 8 songs. There's the otherworldly symphonic offering that is 'Clarity', speaks of an imperfect perfection: its all-encompassing sound is dense and muffled, including some broken chords, and it ends with a low, rumbling fade to darkness. Likewise, 'Audity' smothers your mind with thick flurries of bleak synth chords. Again, soaring, chilled-out sounds abound in 'Ashe', including the authentic background buzz of an acoustic guitar, a homely feel - it gives way to bulges of bass and endlessly delayed synth arpeggios over a sparse, subtle beat for a meaner-sounding second half. Halfway between the lounge and the outside world, 'Veaquis' features an upstanding, jaunty bassline and watercolour washes of synth, all to very fresh, subtly ornamented hip hop beat, complete with chopped, skewed brass noises.

It heralds energy at other times. 'Glen '79' speaks in leaps and bounds of analogue process with ascending crunchy bass synth as its staple. Set to yet another fresh beat with interestingly syncopated hi-hats, it breaks into raw, fractured loops of itself in the second half, buzzing with insatiable strings of bleeps and bloops and F1-car-esque-sounds. Closer 'Bit Pairity' includes differing dynamic within itself, beginning with soft melodies and soaring samples over heavy sub-bass and freestyle beats, things get more hard-edged and concrete with chiptune-style melodies and a focus on the beat. Hi-hats snap and fizz. We drop into a juke-flavoured turbine of wild bustling beats and uncontrollable 16bit fugues, draped with gentle marimbas and white noise. It finishes with a sample of a music box tune coming to an end, finishing with a lo-fi recording of silence (which isn't silence).

Part Café del Mar, part 1980s science convention after-party (or your imagination of it), Themes is a wonderful showcase of the continued non-ironic existence of "chillwave" sounds, with skilled creation and handling of an exciting dynamic that has at its core addictive, super-fresh beats and familiar, comfy analogue synth sounds. Very very nice. If you've got this far in this article without actually pressing play on that SoundCloud thing then, well, you should.

You can download this album from iTunes.

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