Loose Lips

Nh - Outre (Sublunar)

Review

Nh - Outre (Sublunar)

Few people in the scene can boast such a raw talent and authentic punk attitude as Nh — and those who do are seldom the type to boast. It is thus understandable why many are unfamiliar with the name, especially those who rely on social media to keep up to date with who is who. But those who do know the Swiss-born artist are irrevocably drawn to the dark, gritty energy of his productions — Like Sciahri and Dagdrom, founders of Florence-based Sublunar. Ever since coming across his music, recommended by a common friend well-versed in techno, Sublunar heads knew Nh’s take on the genre fit the artistic directions of the new-born label perfectly. Soon after, in December 2017, Nihil (Nh’s debut record) was released, its physical form selling out in no time. And now, a little short of a year later, Nh’s sophomore EP hits the shelves - finally! Outre is once again released on the Italian imprint, and once again displays a highly sensitive approach to the raw, psychedelic and often sinister side of techno.

 

Out on November 26, 2018, Outre is available on both vinyl and digital formats through the label's Bandcamp and most specialist techno distributors, Outre is a must have for anyone into apocalyptic pads, schizophrenic drones and hypnotic, unpretentious loops that keep the listener floating, suspended. 

Music has been a fundamental part of Nh’s life since I was offered a small Fisher Price cassette player for Christmas when I was a kid. It had a microphone and I started recording random stuff on cassette’. This unconventional approach, seemingly more interested in finding (or creating) musicality with real-life sounds rather than in working with musically-produced tones, has stuck with him to this day.

The 5-tracker EP opens with the title track ‘Outre’ and its tribal drums, tense melodies and industrial-machine sounds, all coming together to create the sort of rush of a chase through the corridors of an alien spaceship in a cult sci-fi movie. Next, despite it’s racing broken beat, ‘Spirales’ feels quite soothing thanks fo the cinematographic pad strokes highlighting the nostalgic soundscape. ‘Vague’ closes the A-side with its compressed, swinging energy. Brutal and gyroscopically pounding, it is probably the most deconstructive track on this EP. 

Flipping the record over, we find ‘Non’. Ironically yes, this is the most dancefloor-oriented track, not just for its 4x4 kick drum pattern but also for the deep hypnotic, futuristic tapestry it weaves. The closing track, ‘Portrait’, sends us on a journey through foggy lowlands where, lost, we seek the origin of the sound that haunts us, before collapsing into a blissful ambiance. 

An experimentalist at heart and a perfectionist at mind - it seems to be in music that Nh’s conflicting forces find resolution, often through dark, elliptical negotiations that result in music as strangely captivating as the one we find in Outre

Nh - Outre was released on November 26, 2018 and is available at the Sublunar Bandcamp on vinyl/digital.