Thursday, May 21, 2009

Jackin' in the Community

Nathan Fake - Castle Rising

Norfolk’s finest big-haired knob-worrier Nathan Fake is back with a new six-track mini-album ‘Hard Islands’, which was released by James Holden’s mighty Border Community imprint on Monday. I caned the arse of Fake’s 2006 debut album, ‘Drowning in a Sea of Love’ - an inspired concoction of toytown synths, blissful, life-affirming distortion and thumping beats, and definitely up there with the best of the Noughties. His latest offering finds the prodigious 25-year-old hitting his stride, remodelling his style with a tougher sound, honed over the last few years spent roughing up the dancefloors of Europe. “Playing live a lot over the last couple of years has had a profound influence on the way I make music now,” Fake says.

Opening track ‘The Turtle’ is a straight-up banger – marvellous bubbly, squidgy acid, while on ‘Basic Mountain’, Fake staples his trademark fuzzy, pastoral electronica to hard-edged, analogue techno beats. ‘Castle Rising’ is rough, raw and loopily experimental acid house, recalling the glorious early years of 808 State, when A Guy Called Gerald was behind the wheel; and both ‘Narrier’ and ‘Fentiger’ are packed with gnarly Aphexisms, off-kilter melodies and brutal beats. I only have one complaint – it’s far too short. More please.

Nathan Fake - Outhouse (Main Mix)

The music of 'Hard Islands' is a return to Fake's roots - 'Outhouse' was the single he burst on to the scene with back in November 2003, an absolutely bruising monster of a tune, with only an eerie, dissonant AFX circa-Polygon Window melody to keep the relentless percussion at bay. If he's now 25 (I think) that means he would've been, er, about 19-years-old when he produced this. Suddenly those "Norfolk's answer to the Aphex Twin" comparisons have some resonance.

Buy 'Hard Islands' from Norman Records
Nathan Fake MySpace
Nathan Fake website
Border Community website