Nite Lite - Megrez [Desire Path - 2012]Philip and Myste French are the current iteration of Nite Lite. Their first release on Desire Path Recordings, Megrez, comes in a ltd. 300 LP. If you've never heard these guys, avoid the press release. It's wild, over the top, and it may convince you not to check out this album. I can see the trouble with describing an album that is as unconventional as Megrez, but crazy bombast is more of a detractor than a selling point.
Field recordings are often tough to work into an album successfully without some major effects used on them. A big part of Megrez is the use of field recorded animal sounds (and some mimicked on a synth). These animal noises are played more as accents to what can be described as tribal forest jams. Slow, often distant tribal drums provide a backbone to animal sounds, watery synth drips, what sounds like primitive wind instruments, and the occasional vocal drone. While "Amare Videre Est" sounds more akin to Art of Primitive Sound, "The Axis of Tao" and "Firewalkers" remind me of spending a night on Endor. It's not all woodland ditties, though. "Equinox Reflections" captures a thunderstorm and really drives home the feeling with wistful synth echoes. It's a really nice number. "History of the Abyss" is a tricky track. The low, rumbling synth that drives the track is fairly undermined by the light, semi-goofy high notes dancing on top. The wood on wood hits help to level it, but by the time it lightens at the end, "History" had lost all of its punch.
Megrez is a solid LP. It plays well on headphones, but better in the background. I find the arrangement of the album a bit uneven (synth/glitchy to woods to rain to rumble to synth...etc), but it's definitely worth checking out.Paul Casey