Nochexxx makes music that sounds like vintage electro / techno that has been made using gear of that vintage that perhaps hasn’t weathered the years very well. All the elements are in place, and you could certainly dance, but the whole is pleasingly muffled. Coloured and translucent double LP on Type.
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Before assuming his Nochexxx moniker, Dave Henson used to play in post-rock group Gwei-Lo and put out experimental electronica as Ascoltare before abandoning the overly rarefied uplands of computer generated music in favour of the hands-on primitivism of analogue hardware. While he’s certainly not the only electronic music producer currently drawing inspiration from the raw beginnings of acid house and rave culture, I don’t think I’ve come across another album that comes as close as this to channeling the wide-eyed intensity and relentless inventiveness of the hardcore techno mix cassettes that used to circulate virus-fashion in the early nineties.
Henson commits all his tracks to quarter inch tape to give them that pleasing dynamic distortion, which paired with the deeply psychoactive unfoldings of his music, makes you feel like the sound is hallucinating itself. The at-times unhinged and careening rhythms that underpin incongruous layers of strange kinetic textures and disorienting fluorescent melodies all support Henson’s description of his working method as ‘ignorant techno confusion’; paying homage to the fact that it was creative naivety and exclusion from (or disregard for) formal musical training that provided the fertile foundations for house music and techno to flourish in the first place.
It’s an engaging album all the way through but if I could pick one track from it that exemplifies Henson’s aesthetic it would be ‘Arbury Flowers’, which after it’s dreamy Boards Of Canada intro, steps up with a tough, gurning acid bass-riff and a head-nodding primitivist groove. Over this a series of simple, semi-synthetic melodies that don’t really go are layered one after another, jarring slightly against each other to create this weirdly hypnotic, half hilarious/half sinister headspace. Ignorant techno confusion at its finest.
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