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- Mundo Harsh by Naka Naka
8/10 Ant Staff review, 21 November 2014
The third release on Opal Tapes sister label Black Opal comes from Naka Naka whom I know nothing about other than having a his/ her/ their ‘Juan Pestanas’ tape on Opal Tapes. Folks have been begging for a vinyl release of that tape but until that day comes we have 6 track mini LP to get stuck into.
Opener ‘Dardos’ is creepy dark house/ lo-fi techno with that early Aphex Twin tape hiss and reverb sound. It’s hypnotic and groovy and slinks along nicely for almost 10 minutes with a simple but functional 4/4 woody kick, some hi-hats and a smattering of rim-shots. The looping/ repetition really has that lost in the night feeling. The endless groove could just go on forever, that feeling of searching for something that maybe can never be found. ‘Dioges’ again has a stripped back percussive framework and a big muffled euphoric bassline informed by vintage house and a yearning melody. ‘Def Def’ ups the tape hiss and reverb somewhat and has a gorgeous shimmering soulful melody that flutters like a decaying butterfly.
‘Jazz’ is probably the standout track for me; the bassline wouldn’t be out of place on a Burial record and grooves along perfectly satisfyingly but it’s the muted trumpet sounds that really get me tingling, wishing I was at a club with all my mates around me, safe from the horrors of the outside world as opposed to being sat in my dressing gown at 7:20AM drinking a cuppa which isn’t exactly the right time and place to be listening to this yet it still hits the sweet spot. ‘Sec 2’ moves away from the dancefloor and into a really sad and lonely sounding realm that recalls the vibe of J.D. Emmanuel’s 1982 ‘Wizards’ LP. ‘Vibrocalyx’ closes and is the toughest, most uptempo track on the record. Despite the increase in BPM and more industrial / metallic sound palette the overall mood is equally as dreamy and hazy as the rest of the tracks. There’s a loop in there that reminds me of a Polygon Window track and with all the effects it’s a pretty dense sound; one aimed equally at heads and feet.
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