Soleilmoon Recordings SOL 121 CD (2003)
Okay, well, one, if you've no idea who Nigel Ayers (Nocturnal Emissions)
is and yet find yourself wanting to know, go here: www.earthlydelights.co.uk.
You'll quickly find that Nigel's been a busy man in his lifetime.
If you're new to his discography, god help you and start buying lottery.
Nevertheless, starting at Collateral Salvage is as good a place
as any, 'cause you gotta start somewhere mate, and this one is candy.
The incorporated electronic and organic elements of Morocco in the dipsy
funk and trip of the typical Emissions thoughtsound is exquisite. Granted,
the subtext, undercurrent, etc. of Emissions is generally postmodern deconstruction
of this, that, and the other thing or post-post modern political rage,
it doesn't matter if you're on the bandwagon or even the believe in the
bandwagon to be seriously grooved and carried along by the Emissions sound.
The overall feeling of this is serendipitous and tenaciously lighthearted.
Don't get the idea that everything Ayers does is as such, 'cause it ain't,
but if you're curious about this guy, throw your expectations out the
window anyway. Just delve. So, this one shimmers; other works,
such as those with Mick Harris or Randy Grief, are completely different.
Some bounce, some screech, some wail. If you're curious, spend some
time with Nigel Ayers and his catalogue. It's not exceptionally
expensive to find his recordings with Emissions (and others) on Ebay and
in other places, and then you'll better be able to place the newer recordings
in context to the previous work. Plan on thinking a lot about how
packaging relates to content, or sound relates to subtext. Or not.
The invitation is always there, to explore with Nigel some back alleyways
of thought and action, or, to just turn off the old noggin' and follow
along with your eyes closed.
This one's beautiful, textural, pleasant; unless you read the song titles
and wonder. Wonder, wander, do what you will, these songs are bliss.
Even if you don't think you're interested in the music, if you see an
Emissions CD in a music store, it's worth checking into Nigel's penchant
for cut at paste art and his graphic sensibility. This one's a corker,
Nigel Ayers returns in his Nocturnal Emissions guise, decomposing and
disarranging who-knows-what sources into the twistedly bright constructions
of Collateral Salvage. A hoot!
Drum-thrumming fun begins when Jesus' Twin Brother bounds onto
the scene... a blur of beats, jangles and bits of televangelical-speak
are wound into a bouncy bop. Burn, Bush, Burn relaxes (albeit a
bit surreally) in an islandic vibe where flutes and strums float upon
buoyant basslines and pattering rhythms. Groovin' With Mr. Slow marks
the first of several occurrences in which Eastern sound forms (here sitar
twangs and tweedling reeds) are woven into a magic-carpet of perkiness.
Bassy Puchobongo is embedded with start-n-stop musicality looping
through a lurching groove, and topped by exotic percussion-play. Seductively
gauzy bass struts across a bed of smoldering jungledrums in I See You're
With Eeyore while smoky wails of voice and sax writhe in the distance.
Weirdly wavering Bunker Buster gradually coalesces into a danceable
tapestry, again edged with Middle-Eastern accents. Stirred by spattering
beats, muted jangle-rock sways beneath a gauze of pleasantly disorienting
esoterica in Resistance Is Fertile , followed by the bouncy ditty
of Listen, Little Man. Delicate strings trickle into Running
Water, to be pumped up by cool rhythms and Easternish effects... mesmerizing!
The brassy warpings of sitar strings meander through the percussive patterns
of glowing Lah De La De Saki Ya making for a warm farewell. With
15 peppy (and interestingly arranged) instrumentals, it's easy to get
something good out of Collateral Salvage.
Sonic collage-work from Nocturnal Emissions earns a happy A-.
David J Opdyke
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