10″, Softly Records, 2005
“The Open EP” was strange to review due to my having such a range of feelings about the tracks on offer.
It starts off strongly with “Rockbox”, “Goddiggity” and “More & More”. “Rockbox” is a trippy piece of Electronica but it is unlike most electronic music as it has something that keeps you focussed on the track, rather than a lush sound that sweeps over you.
“Goddiggity” is a glitchy interlude that flows really well into the beautiful “More & More”, which features Simone Balzam on vocals. Generally I’m a bit of purist when it comes to vocals on Electronic/IDM tracks but the vocals add atmosphere to the track and Simone’s vocals add a touch of haunting melancholy. Definitely a highlight to this EP.
However “The Open EP” strays a little on the B-side as Novo try to blend Electronic with ‘Nu Jazz’ vocals. A brave move but it doesn’t really work in my mind. Fans of Urban or Jazz genres might get some pleasure out of “Shine” and “Let It Rain”, but I felt that the last two tracks let the release down a little.
Novo are an interesting project though and I think they have the ability to release some further impressive work. I look forward to hearing what they come up with in the future. Not essential, but definitely intriguing.
— Kate Turgoose