John Lemke‘s Nomad Frequencies LP is an electroacoustic work with a grand scope. Over the course of 10 tracks, Lemke melds analogue synthesis and field recordings with percussion and melodic instrumentation. Also, prominent use of tuning forks. Nomad Frequencies is released on CD or double gatefold LP by Denovali.
7/10 Laurie Staff review, 11 November 2015
Denovali love these dark ritualistic things, featuring big spooky names as Coffin Dancer and September Malevolence. The linear notes from this even proclaim that the record uses the reverb from a mausoleum in its creation. Real spook. But then things get taken completely the other way with the opening notes, calming piano chords that sound like the sigh after a long hard day ont’ job. Or Hammock or something. Pretty, got it?
John Lemke has an ear for drama. The whole of second track ‘The Unwinding’ could be the soundtrack to a Darren Aronofsky film of the same name. Take a hint, Dazza, and don’t cast Russell Crowe this time. It shares the same sweeping romance as Bersarin Quartett’s new one, (not) coincidentally also on Denovali. This gets elevated by some carefully dissected naturalistic drum patterns underneath the emotional string arrangements and odd-time sax that’s pretty close to Portico Quartet before they lost the ‘Quartet’ and their talent. One could say John Lemke is a one-man quartet. One could, couldn’t one?
Is ‘At the Dust Boutique’ just a cheap sampling of Major Lazer’s ‘Get Free’? Never thought I’d say this as it’s the only track of theirs I like, but I think I prefer Major Lazer’s version… They probably sampled the shit out of some poor soul to make that too though. ‘Vessel’ channels some upbeat Dave Brubeck feels, the oddball piano rhythm bouncing around over a thumping but muted 4x4 techno kick. Some synthy textures begin to edge in at this point, 5th track ‘Encounters’ being a minimal mystery thriller centred around a bass synth arp, so sneaky. Not sure who lauded this as ‘electroacoustic’, it’s more cinematic than that, building a narrative through dramatic melodic layers, borrowing from electronic ambient, jazz, classical and library music with some real jaunty moments. I’m not such a fan of the melodrama myself, and the melodic themes are just a bit too obvious. But it’s a great thing though, especially from a sound design perspective, everything sounds well placed in the sound field.
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