Steam Days by Nathan Fake

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Steam Days by Nathan Fake
1 review. Write a review for us »
9/10 Brian 30 August 2012

I recall us Normaners being bang into 'Drowning In A Sea Of Love' several years back, it fitted beautifully into that post IDM glut of hugely melodic, astoundingly layered yet deceptively simple and atmospheric 4am music such as Julian Fane and M83...also, the DJ genius that is James Holden was the man putting out Nathan's records and, thankfully, still is!

Now we have the eagerly expected follow-up album proper (after the brief teasing interlude of 2009's double twelve 'Hard Islands') and what is largely apparent is that many of the beats have a greater propulsion, seeming more technoid, dynamic and contemporary than his work of yesteryear, despite the spangled, ever-shifting amorphous melodies remaining gorgeously bright and tactile as ever, caressing your mind like mini-symphonies of ecstatic bliss. This is one bloody fantastic album that constantly engages the listener and sneakily pricks up stray ears throughout its compulsive, exotic journey. A few of the tracks suddenly dissolve and conclude in a bed of static before another sleepy, sensual synth-line comes out of nowhere to caress your delighted ears once again.

Mr. Fake's work has a very noticeable warmth, rusticity and genuine depth, probably due to his obsession with vintage analogue tape machines and playful synth sounds, therefore that bolshy over-compressed feel typical of much modern electronica or bass music is quite absent. This album even carries much of the intimacy and personality of Aphex Twin's most reflective, highly regarded work without particularly sounding much like him, Mr. Fake being a bit of a virtuoso when it comes to massively atmospheric synth trails, unusual melodies and constantly evolving beat patterns. Seriously, this could well be one of the paramount electronic/dance highlights of 2012 without even trying too hard. 'DIASOL' was much adored in (and out of) "the community" and now the amazing effort that is 'Steam Days' could easily topple it in terms of breadth of scope and sheer exuberance. Truly astounding.



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