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Nosaj Thing – Parallels 

Sunday 10th, September 2017 / 16:00


By Andrew R. Mott

Innovative Leisure 

Two years after having his gear and archives stolen while touring through Houston, Nosaj Thing has released his fourth studio album, Parallels. The 10-track album opens up with “Nowhere,” a song that starts with the sense of the confusing echo of reboot and then launches into melodic waves a la Philip Glass; tense, shifting in tonality, and laced with a strange undercurrent. Shocked by a muffled vocal sample that states the album’s title, the track breaks tack and drifts to its finale. Awakened by a warm and grimy bass line “All Points Back To U,” featuring Steve Spacek, folds the listener into layers of sound that reverberate back to the roots of Nosaj Thing’s style on 2009’s Drift, but with an elevated sense of space. Spacek’s vocals provide a sense of forced reflection that Nosaj Thing’s usual pure instrumentation simply cannot. “Get Like” glaringly defines the oscillating conceptual line of emotional flux that has now fully permeated Nosaj Thing’s evolving musical style. Deep in the warm, heavy bass there’s a spirit of courage and aspiration pushing to overcome the pull of depression. “Way We Were” featuring Zuri Marley picks the record back up and infuses an air of R&B that’s soothes with the desire of possibility. Marley’s resonant colour uplifts just enough to shine some light without breaking the album’s dark through line. “IGYC” pulls the listener back into a refractory cave atmosphere, a chamber of reflected sound, glittering, strange and fading without consideration. “Sister” finds the end of the record with swells of hope and a rough hewn bass drum that drive with strength out of a valley of confused darkness, and yet the very last sound is still jilted.

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