Nitrada - We don't know why but we do it [2.nd Rec - 2004]Christophe Stoll aka Nitrada might not know why he did it, I certainly do know why I listen to this very nice and melancholic electro-pop album.
When I got this CD a few weeks ago, I listened to it once, though “yeah, not bad”, then put it in my “to be reviewed” pile and kinda forgot about it. But then I got back to it since it features, on a couple of tracks, people from Giardini di Miro, a band who really impressed me with their most recent album (browse our archive for a review). And I instantly fell in love with a few of the songs. Why that change of mind? It probably has to do with my general mood of late, but I’m quite confident my judgement won’t differ in six months.
Nitrada’s electronica makes me think of a mix between Murcof and DNTEL, and that can’t be bad. What might be slightly worse is that the way he uses his keyboard on Everything is not alright reminds me of Robert Miles of all people (yuk!!). However surprising it may seem, it works… But Stoll is at his best when he adds to his laptop music real drums, guitars or voices. A good example is the title track, a classy mix of live drums, strings, vocals, glitches and delays. Fading away sounds like the more electronica oriented Giardini di Miro songs. Not surprising since it features GdM’s guitarist and Kaye Brewster, who sung one song on their last album. Old love, new idea is a superb song mixing a string and horn ensemble with some frantic beats. Sounds like Kim Hiorthoy and Murcof on acid. But the best track is undoubtedly the last one, Start today, co written by Stoll and GdM's Jukka Reverberi and featuring Franscesco Cantone on vocals. Reverberi plays a beautiful melancholic and languid (I use this word in a positive way) guitar theme. The strength of the songs lies in the intricate mix of live drums, electronic beats and strings. Start today really is a superb track, Nitrada’s very own Life of Evan and Chan, that ain’t a minor feat.
This album is a bit of a surprise: I didn’t expect to like it that much. If like me, you enjoy poppy electronic music and artists who can write actual songs, then you should check this CD.
Photo © Henning BockFrançois Monti