This collection of tracks from Nichts strikes a nice balance between abstract experimentalism and dance floor accessibility. Like all of the releases from underground label Backwards Records, there's plenty of weirdness on this one, as evidenced by fuzzy but pleasant glitch track "The Red Scare" and the muffled ambient of "Sure Beats Evaporating." By the second half of the CD, though, things start to really pick up, and while there's still an emphasis on minimalist structures and analog eccentricity, there's also a solid groove running throughout. "First Pressure" recalls avant-garde house music auteur John Tejada with its solid thump and spare feedback tones, and "Collapse" layers distorted but perky organ arpeggios over a pulsing electro beat. "Disenchantment" turns down the tempo but cranks up the bass with a head-nodding hip-hop kick under wavering synth lines, while "Puppydogs And Hummingbirds" is as perky as its title would suggest, with electronic chirps and tweets over a bouncing four-on-the-floor kick drum, then brings the noise with thickly distorted synth pads spread over the top. While Nichts brings a distinct underground sensibility to avant-garde techno, this release is in no way abrasive, and unlike most so-called "intelligent dance music," you can actually imagine intelligent people dancing to it.
For more information about this CD, visit the Backwards Records website at www.backwardsrecords.com.
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