Aesthetics are important, right? It’s a topic that we want to discuss a little bit today, as it’s a theme that runs not only through our selection, but through the source in which we found this artist. Credit is due to No Fear Of Pop, one of Europe’s leading music blogs, where they specialise in covering left-field underground music from its Berlin base, but with contributors as far reaching as New York and Sydney. This is not only a site known for turning up exceptionally fresh selections, but they deliver it all upon one of the tightest-looking blogs in existence. It’s an immaculate space, based on a Tumblr, that is always an absolute joy for your ears and eyes to tour around. If there’s one blog that seems to sum up Berlin, one of the most awesome, ultra-hip cities in the world, then it is this site. Even their writers look effortlessly cool, (have you ever seen Tonje Thilesen and her fantastic photography?). Basically, this is a blog that’s worth checking out. When you do you’re rewarded. Today, we pass one of those rewards onto you.
Nicholas Desamory, is something of a convoluted story. It’s actually a new project from the project-machine that is Nicholas Bussman, a Berlin producer known well to that cities electronic music scene. We got in touch with him recently and he confessed to being responsible for “maybe fifteen albums under different names in different collaborations“. Note the word “maybe” in that quote. This is clearly one of those songsmiths that churns out music at such a rate that even he cannot keep up. He’s been known to release albums that can be classed in anything from conceptual opera, to electronic Brazilian music. The latest guise sees him adorning the new moniker, Nicholas Desamory, as if to adopt a new character, a new veil, that frees him from his reality, so he can release from his Bussman shell and create something beautiful. We asked him to explain the choice of name change and he confessed that it’s the surname of his wife, someone known to us as Lucile Desamory, one of the four notable vocalists on his new album.
Like You is a seven track album that will be out on June 18 via the m=minimal label. With so few tracks you would be forgiven for considering this a glorified EP, but you have to take into account that contained within this work are tracks that regularly stretch out beyond the nine minute mark. For once we have an artist that has made an electronic house album that is a marathon not a sprint, but where marathons can become heavy and repetitive, Bussman has instead created something that maintains a light-footedness and an admirable variety throughout. Dripping in minimalism, this is in fact a piece of dance music that constantly teeters on the edge of standing still. It’s as easy as it is uneasy, as he marries the sensual sheen of Donna Summer, with the minimalist end of Underwold at their darkest. Occasionally it grooves, but it’s not afraid to warp out a sample in a way that sounds like a computer playing the keyboard using springs as fingers.
Here is an album that totally masters an aesthetic. It has a consistently cerebral feel to it. This is minimal post-music for the evening. It is music for when you don’t actually need it. It enters your mind like those entirely wasted thoughts – that you swear were important at the time – about solving your life, imagined at that moment between hitting your pillow and falling asleep at 2am. This is music with an ‘in’ door, but no exit. Take the wonderful opener, Move Your Assets, a tune aiming for your hips, as Lucile Desamory speaks directly to the listener, as she suggests that you “empty your pockets, unzip your soul“. It’s the sound of refined patience, building slowly to Lucile’s elegant mantra. I Want To Be Like You throbs like a bruised robot. All The World plucks away for nearly four minutes, before any vocals appear and a slowed house synth stab drifts into view. Outsourcing The Strings has the random feel of throwing a bouncing rubber ball into a lift, before he somehow reigns in control. All The Pretty Flowers is even more experimental, plumbing darker depths, before the most stunning vocals of the entire album appear one minute in. Shopping For Free re-introduces more pace, before the shortened album-closer, Sold Out, drops you off like a train coming to a halt.
It’s a well-produced, magically-composed album. In parts it is like he’s channelled the aesthetic of disco and house, but only managed to lift their ghosts, which he’s then infused inside his contemporary tunes. Just like the music blog in which we discovered this album, this is music with the aesthetic of Berlin. The great thing about blogs being associated with cities is that they’re best placed to uncover new music that emerges from that city. It’s not that bloggers have a selection of trained journalists, or experienced music hacks to hand; neither have they stolen the thunder from NME and other traditional key holders of underground music, but they in fact have an edge that is earned by their ability to tap into their scene and the local networks around them. Not only does this allow bloggers to deliver to their readers the best in emerging music, but on occasion they do it from the most attractive of sites. As with this wonderful Berlin solo artist, the key secret unlocked by getting your aesthetic right is that by being attractive you will pull people back time and again. With both No Fear Of Pop and Nicholas Desamory you will be richly rewarded at every visit. (MB)