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Review: 'Love-Songs'
'Nicht Nicht'   

-  Label: 'bureau b'
-  Genre: 'Ambient' -  Release Date: '22nd May 2020'

Our Rating:
This one’s been out a while, but only recently landed with me having probably been languishing in a depot somewhere in the Covid hinterland that has been 2020 postal services. Marking the culmination of eight years of evolution, charted by a succession of EPs and a min-album, German trio Love-Songs have finally delivered their first full-length album. ‘Nicht Nicht’ continues to present their ambition to ‘mesh defined grids with improvisatory snapshots to create their very own take on organic electronica’.

‘Nicht Nicht’ explores sultry, sonorous soundscapes at a steady, deliberate pace., and balances flighty light tones with darker, denser undercurrents, and if the title implies some kind of lullaby, it’s a lullaby with a sense of foreboding simmering beneath the surface. This is an album centred around hypnotic grooves, with the percussion being sparse, minimal, basic, but pinned to some nagging basslines that just go on… and on.

Clattering chimes and an elongated mid-range are drone pinned together by a slow, steady beat on the gradual layering of ‘Proxy 1’; at times the upper layers feel haphazard, chaotic, random, and as such seem to be leading nowhere, but an echoing bass note reverberating like sonar lends a steady base, and counterpart ‘Proxy 2’ follows a similar, but less chaotic trajectory, a supple ebb and flow and at a lower tempo so as to be almost soporific. ‘Selbstauflöser Teil 2’ is more overtly structured and settles into a rippling Krautrock groove, with vocal snippets echoing around with the muffled yet solid percussion that rolls and bobs insistently.

‘Das Labyrinth’ is something of a standout, pursuing a deep pulsating motif on repeat and an insistent beat, paired with a bass that borders of minimal funk. With a monotone vocal and increasingly techno vibe, it drives headlong into DAF territory – and at the same time showcases the best of Love-Songs and their melding of the structured and the fluid, the techno and the ambient.

As a set of motorik-driven dreamwerks, ‘Nicht Nicht’ is simultaneously focused and meandering, with expansive spaces walled by definite frameworks of conventions of rhythm and repetition. Ultimately, this feels very much an inwardly-focused album, penned with the primary purpose of speaking not of anything external, or anything relating directly to experience or emotion, but focused on simply the experience in itself – and such insular escapism is actually healthy.

  author: Christopher Nosnibor

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