CD, Syrphe, 2007
One Man Nation is from Singapore, a one city nation containing many men, and this six-track EP is dedicated to “all who have lost someone to the ugliness of war”. The artwork is subtle yet striking, featuring a stylish line drawing of a (dead?) man leaning back on a bench with his arms (one apparently scarred) spread wide and his face towards a sky thick with falling bullets. A high level of skill is shown in the music contained within, a convincingly delivered exercise in sophisticated and emotional electronica with some surprising instrumental elements to confound the listener’s expectations.
“Lies Lie Between The Lines” opens the disc well with a glitchy down tempo rhythm and gentle melodies treading a fine line between sinister and depressive. “Ghossando In Space” does involve suitably expansive electronics, and remains ambient for its short duration. “May The Devil’s Horns Ring On, Ring On” starts with a tragic classical string section before the horns in question ring out, or rather wander off on a slightly misguided jazz interlude, one of the weaker moments of the EP.
“GGGlitch In The Machine” is surprisingly glitch free, although the light percussion below the delicately picked acoustic guitar could possibly be just that, and strange found sounds cleverly arranged provoke vague images of unpleasant happenings. “Fabricated Epiphany” is generally a lighter tune, with a gentle rhythm and warm pads, albeit with an awkward organ flourish and harsh synth noise interrupting proceedings for a couple of brief intervals. Finally, the title track is the most emotive offering, with a weary voice telling of soldiers breaking somebody’s fingers one by one over a slow and slightly off time organ melody and quick syncopated beats, with dramatic filmic sounds rising effectively at appropriate points.
— Nathan Clemence