Thursday, 9 February 2017

Navie D "Hyper Light In The Key Of D" (2016)


Often eliminating the percussion section and stripping back the layers of composition, Canadian producer Navie D chooses a striking change of pace for his full length debut. The ambiguous, alien sentiment of his striking synth driven style finds itself stricken from the mold of Hip Hop beats into an ambient, atmospheric piece resonating in mood and tone. In this change of pace a lot more convention is found in the often small set of instruments that grace us with intuitive minimalism.

 With a low density of sound, singular noises glance past one another over the rumble of distant buzz saws, fostering an atmosphere spacious, distant and ambiguous by design. With token instruments and a keen ear for volume, reverb and all things to further the desolation, a rather stark and lifeless feeling emerges from the small set of synths that hold these songs together. With no crescendos, progressive builds or moments of climax we very much step into the abyss for a brief glimpse at the beyond as lingering glimmers of melody forge the moment with a handful of notes.

In a fair few moments the album musters up a whirl of rhythmic energy where a buzzing rattle inspires the mechanical, percussive march of electronic dissonance on "The Hanged Man". A subdued pace has the striking of anvils and clanking of ratchets keep tempo with an industrial menace on "The Emperor". Half of the tracks here find mechanical tempos, devoid of groove and intent on atmosphere. They bounce back and forth between the minimal tracks which bare little resemblance to melody and tune.

It ends up being a somewhat impressive record that could pass you by if you fail to give it your attention. Already flirting with the void its alien synths, unsettling noises and eerie vibe may become background noise if your focus is consumed. Its lack of event or immediacy may leave you with little impact or memorability but in a way it feels as if the place we visit is intended to be forgotten. A change of pace that isn't fresh or original but well executed. My favorite moment is the end, "Credits" which for a brief moment leaves us with a whiff of melody and fading sentiment.

Favorite Tracks: Home, The Hierophant, Credits

Rating: 6/10

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