Brett Naucke - The Vistor [Nihilist Records - 2012]
Brett Naucke is the head of Catholic Tapes, and The Visitor is his vinyl debut. Brett's output has been limited to a handful of cassettes, so I am unfamiliar with his work. The press release promises "electronic bog filled with subtle seductive melodies and eerie organic abstractions." The lack of hyperbole makes me very hopeful!
The Visitor takes in six tracks clocking in at just over 33 minutes. The number of songs and album length work very well with this style of music. No track drags on for too long and the album doesn't seem forced. The music itself floats between light and airy to bubbly and watery. Both sides seem to follow a similar pattern of a shorter "intro" track and then two longer, atmospheric tracks. Side A gives us "Intro to the Visitor," "Twin Drifts," and "Plague in This Town." "Intro" has soft, warm synths juxtaposed with chaotic, scratchy rubbings in the foreground. "Twin Drifts" adds in a solid, reverbed beat-like pulse that helps to drive along the airy synth drones. "Plague" switches things up a bit. Bubbly synths are soon joined by sweeping, cinematic synths. It really brings the side to a close on a strong note. SIde B follows in a similar vein with "Sun Room," "Cellar Beat," and "Endless Royalty." "Sun Room" is soft and bright with interesting synth noodlings over subtle drones. It reminds me of the 4 part Dignity of Labour by The Human League. "Cellar" sounds like it was recorded in the ocean underneath where "Plague" was recorded. It's lower, slower, and darker. "Endless" rounds out the album by returning to the softer, airy notes. Soft, bell-like drones are topped by synthy animal sounds. It's a nice way to finish up the sonic journey of The Visitor.
Brett Naucke's The Visitor really is an "electronic bog filled with subtle seductive melodies and eerie organic abstractions." With the exception of "Cellar Beat," the album stays light and upbeat. I really enjoyed The Visitor and would seek out more of Brett's workPaul Casey