Review: In the 12 years since he unfurled acclaimed debut album Clarence Park, one-man electronica factory Chris Clark has produced a vast body of work. He's been particularly busy on the remix front, completing a huge array of reworks. It's this work that makes up the vast majority of Feast/Beast, a remix retrospective (which, curiously, also includes some notable reworks of his material) split into two distinct halves. The first disc, Feast, focuses on the more melodic, other-worldly end of his output, delivering wide-eyed remixes of Amon Tobin, Kuedo and, most beautiful of all, Silverman. Beast, the second disc, moves into darker, tougher territory, joining the dots between techno, bass music, vintage hardcore and wonk-hop thanks to notable versions of Massive Attack, Maximo Park and Depeche Mode.
Review: Given that the precocious Nathan Fake was a pioneer in the area of melodic, indie meets electronic, it's strange to hear him calling a release Paean. Despite this, it's business as usual for the UK producer, with a cascade of melodic lines and psychedelic modulations unfolding over a rattling break beat. By contrast, the Coda remix is but a short, noisy outro and Lukid's version is a noisy, bass-heavy broken beat reshape. It's the Lone version that most articulately captures the spirit of the original version. The synth sounds redefine the term 'breezy' and, over brittle break beats, veer into melodies so sweet that they could replace the sugar in your morning cup of coffee.
Review: Nathan Fake returns with his long awaited third LP. Steam Days is pitched almost directly between the pastoral sounds of his debut Drowning In A Sea Of Love and the razor-edged, abrupt Hard Islands. Some tracks are pushed through sharp, angular rhythmic shapes, such as the strobing bass of "Harnser" or the abrasive "A World of Spectrum", which utilises steam powered, clockwork rhythms, while some show his knack for soft-focus melodies, such as the wistful "Paean" which sounds like Ghost Box hauntology made techno, and the washed out trance of "Sad Vember".
Review: When Nathan Fake first rose to prominence it was due to the fact that his mixture of dreamy melodies and noisy rhythms matched intelligent techno with shoegazing indie - and sounded totally fresh. "Iceni Strings", the latest release by the precocious UK producer, tells a different story. While it is suffused with the hiss of glitchy percussion and sublime melodies, it also features ice cool synths and a dance floor sensibility that had been hitherto lacking in his music. "Sense Head" sees him explore this approach farther, with a jacking, rolling groove supporting spiralling acid lines and his signature detuned melodies. Fake traditionalists will be heartened by the inclusion of "Bauxite Dream" a gloriously lazy, glitchy break beat affair with a sensuous synth melody at its core.
Review: Apparently, Nathan Fake's new EP was recorded live and on the title track, you can certainly hear this approach. While it's underpinned by hammering, steely drums and rasping percussion, the tapestry of dusky textures is occasionally interrupted by wild electronic squiggles or an odd, detuned note. There is a similar approach on "Arcaibh". While the rhythm is more swung and the tempo less frenetic, it also plays host to waves of layered electronic crack and fizzle. More reflective and brooding than his early work, a similar aesthetic remains at the heart of Sunder, and nowhere is this more audible than on the masterfully moody techno opus that is "Serotonin Drops".
Review: Fake's Providence narrative continues with unique and innovative thrust as renowned experimental composer Olga Wojciechowska repurposes and re-orchestrates his most startling and original work to date. Rich, perplexing and full of drama, Nathan's signature abrasion is felt with even more emphasis and timeless scope as the eminent Polish composer works her magic. Also included is a breath-taking ambient twist from Konx-Om-Pax and live versions from Nathan himself. Providential.
Review: Nathan Fake's most recent album, Providence, was also one of his most critically acclaimed works. Now the UK producer hands over "Degreelessness" (featuring Prurient) from the album to remixers Huerco S and Overmono. The decision to pair up Fake with Huerco S was an inspired one, with the US artist turning "Degreelessness" into a dreamy, languid affair. By contrast, the Overmono version uses Fake's tripped out sense of melody to create a soaring but glitchy dance floor track, supported by steely, angular drums. This package proves to be an embarrassment of riches for fans of the singular UK producer, with a new track, "Bosky", navigating a path between his melancholic sound and swinging, assured electro beats.
Review: Traditionally, the UK's Nathan Fake has been closely associated to James Holden's eternal Border Community imprint, a label that has unapologetically stuck to its particular strain of house and techno over the last decade, and a quality that has certainly contributed to its constant success. We've always been great admirers of Fake's dreamy, progressive style of house music, and we see his recent collaborations with London's Ninja Tune as the perfect move for both himself and the mighty record label. Providence, his debut LP for the imprint, stretches the realms of his style to the limit, providing us with 12 highly diverse and explorative slices of IDM-filtered pseudi-house. In reality, there is little to none pure house music in here, but Fake manages to retain a certain momentum that renders these experimental tunes both danceable and enjoyable outside of the bedroom. Deep synths collide with glowing shards of percussion and deep, hyper-space sonics; even Prurient features one of the darker, looser tunes. Recommended!
Review: We've definitely seen our fair share of interesting collaborations of late, where new heroes of electronic music have called upon legends of the industrial scene for collaborative mayhem. Here's another one to add to this list and be assured that it's as curious as ever! The Border Community affiliated artist Nathan Fake; most famous for mid noughties anthems such as "The Sky Turned Pink" and "Outhouse" calls upon industrial noise terror Dominick Fernow; more commonly known as Prurient. On "Degreelessness" The Hospital Productions boss delivers his harrowing and stern monologues (drenched in delay and distortion) over Fake's majestic arrangement full of rusty vintage machine drum rhythms and dreamy/swirling arpeggios and it's quite reminiscent of Fernow's work as Vatican Shadow. The second offering "Now We Know" is quite a departure, but undoubtedly more in the usual domain of Ninja Tune's M.O. In this case, the track is a dreamy electronica journey with stuttering keys and hypnotic pads dancing atop of an infectious broken beat.
Review: This is not the first compilation to drop whose sole aim is to raise funds for NHS Chartities Together - R&S Records and Bass Agenda both delivered similarly epic sets - but "Care4Life" may well be the strongest and most diverse. As you'd expect, each one of the 45 tracks is previously unreleased, and the cast list reads like a who's who of dance music culture. Notable highlights include an ultra-deep, saucer-eyed number from Daniel Avery, an unheard rework of the Chemical Brothers' "Catch Me I'm Falling", a superb revision of Harvey's Locussolus project by Kiwi, Matthew Herbert in jazzy broken beat mode, a rare solo outing from Optimo's JD Twitch, a rip-roaring rave workout from Jas Shaw, and thumping peak-time bangers from Dusky, Eats Everything and Patrick Topping.
Review: Representing a spread of some of the strongest operators in the ever-more fractious world of electronica, Bleep celebrates ten years of operations with this strong package of exclusive tracks. The styles run the gamut from nervy droning sub-techno courtesy of Gas through to Nathan Fake's charmingly fuzzy melodic bombast. Notable inclusions come from Machinedrum with an excellent line in live drum funk, Autechre refiguring the slow jam as a hallucinatory march, and Shackleton turning out some fiery percussive patterns. When the cast also includes Lone, Oneohtrix Point Never, Untold and many more besides, who needs any more convincing?