CD, Out To Lunch Recordings, 2006
Nohno is the most recent creative outpouring from Dean Dennis, a name associated with early electronic and industrial music purveyors Clock DVA. Known for their emphasis of man-machine interfaces and history of musique concrete techniques, it is not surprising that Nohno is an enlightened descendant of these roots (and by extrapolation, the applied Kraftwerkian foundations). Found within “Metropolis” is a likely fusion of old-school industrial electronics and experimental jazz, wrapped in the unassuming guise of languorous tech-house styles. It is a well-balanced mixture of sharp electronic rhythms, shimmering orchestral accents and spacey abstractions.
The interplay of bouncing, metronomic percussion, relaxed synth tones and processed vocal samples lends “Metropolis” an unhurried, yet intricate texture. Upbeat tracks “Divisible” and “Train Home” glow with blithe and supine peacefulness, perfect driving music for those late nights when roads are empty and coasting through tunnels lined with fluorescent lights and glistening tiles seems akin to discovering nirvana. Arrangements coalesce from layers of distinct elements to form warm melodic grooves and futuristic, repetitive meanderings. As in “Latin America,” mellifluous basslines pulse, twitch and flow in the underlying spaces, while compelling treble hits and snaps loop in endless patterns above.
From the wormy acid lines and popping beats of “Octopus” (a personal favorite) and the tripped-out, slow-groove of “Overtone,” to the jazzy and abstract interludes of the title track and “Falling Angels,” the disc enjoys a natural diversity. With this proliferation of sounds, Nohno has sculpted a hybridized dichotomy, deploying cold robotic mechanics hand-in-hand with fertile organics. The resulting “Metropolis” is brimming with its own ingenious offspring, despite its unfortunately short duration of only eight tracks.
— Dutton Hauhart