Nathaniel Young | Accosting Form, Pure Intent
Mysteries of the Deep (LP/CD/DL)
We are always excited to hear someone’s public debut, and this is the first-ever I’ve also been exposed to from Mysteries of the Deep. Nathaniel Young‘s Accosting Form, Pure Intent at first reminds me of the first time I heard either Jan Jelinek or Kim Cascone – minimal, intentional, but slightly loose with an inner warmth. But stay until the end where this initial impulse is challenged. Of course, structurally they are like lemons and kiwis, just a whole lot moodier. Aside from the pitter-patter of synth flicker are quick percussive thrashes over a rather lithe horn-like drone. This is classic micro-electronics balanced with a wide-open acoustic spectrum. Actual ingredients: Korg MS-20 Mini, Korg SQ-1 step sequencer, Korg Volca Beats, Korg Volca Kick, Behringer Model D, and a Zoom H4N.
Young nicely integrates shadowy echoes with the lilt of what almost sound like elongated bagpipes wavering in the distance, clearly heard on the cheekily titled Zion Waits For No One. Form and matter, and/or the lack or superimposition thereof seem a central allegory to bounce off here. He manages to wedge in some tribal drumming into an otherwise ethereal ambient track, but at no time does it go too heavily wayward. Instead Comfort In Form is practically weightless, save for the subliminal drumming that continues throughout. His is a sound that a quick glance has a lot in common with new wave circa 1980 minus the vocal or pomp. It’s less neon and more the after effect of its soft glare.
As I listen to Recessed Constraint I can easily imagine how his sound leads to commercial film scoring, but sans the celluloid this will play in your head with the same flair as any cutting edge lurid thriller — and seems far less opportunistic. A record with a real pulse, literally layered and fermented on Communal Dysphoria (what a title!). This skulks really on the down low, driven by formless drone and unvarnished core that churns and rotates. The Korg hasn’t been given this much of a workout since Gary Numan’s Telekon, that buzz has such a trademark that isn’t taken advantage enough in our time – but is highly effective in building tension and separation. The slick searing tone snakes in figure eights on Extrasolar.
In the final stretch we have two tracks that are slightly more removed, starting with the spacey May I Speak Candidly. This is a track that would make Peter Kuhlmann blush. Oh, and Young builds form like a clay sculptor, adding small bits at a time, growing in volume over a somewhat airy seven minute stretch, stable – never wavering too far out. And in the end an obscurely murky Graying Dawn spins the proceedings down to the lower-most level, quieting with an atmospheric like an exhausted bellows being squeezed of its last gasp.