The Nest | 1977
Recorded at Zwingli church, Berlin in September 2016 this is The Nest‘s fourth full-length since 2012. The quartet is comprised of Christoph Clöser (saxophone, synthesizer), Tycho Schottelius (turntable, synthesizer, mix), Thomas Mahmoud (field beats, effects & vocals) and Gerald Mandl (bass, effects). 1977 runs for about 28 minutes over four tracks (between an EP and an LP) and is a blend of jazzy electronics recorded in the center of the gothic church.
The title track, 1977 takes up side A of this tape. Crackling with sweet little melodies on the front end, that play on the open environment with a repeating voice, ‘I was born in 1977‘. They incorporate birdlike, hiccuping vocal samples, microsounds and deviating watery synths. The mix is quite impressionistic and lucid. In the center there’s a bit of a silence which leads to percussive effects and distant smoky street-corner sax. Their fusion ends up sounding like someone born out of their time, wandering through a cavernous, modern shopping mall, bleary-eyed and aimless. With five minutes to spare, every in-situ action echoes, a sudden set of kaboom crashes fire away, and an elusive vocalese drifts with the vaporous ambience.
Turn the tape over and Julius Squeezer thumps on through, it’s a funky lil’ number that sounds caught between the low end of the minute static atop vinyl and cosmic abstract minimalist techno. It’s a composition that stops and starts randomly with electronic bowing, airiness and regulated bleeps. And into an industrial wash cycle it leaps towards a single undulating note like that of a theremin with its unexpected frail shifts. The under-the-radar blurps continue on through Ehrenfreund. Life is slowed down hear, the tones are displaced, darkly ambient with a wiggly space music feel. While a melody glistens, others are shape-shifting objects ever so slightly, the percussive elements are like nerve-endings.
And finally we have A Million, a luminous short track that ties up the proceedings nicely with a scintillating horn and wooden effects. It’s a blissful work filled with a drenched light that was very likely inspired by the location with its epic windows. Reminds the ear of the classic gritty edge of Vangelis’ Blade Runner soundtrack – and manages to go out with a perfectly balanced sense of stylish harmony.