Nosaj Thing was all about. as the saying goes, "better late than never."
my expectation were high for three of reasons. for one, Nosaj Thing (24-year-old Jason Chung) is loosely tied to Flying Lotus and he rest of the L.A. glitch-hop scene. second, the album came out on Alpha Pup, the Daddy Kev run label that rarely puts out anything short of great. finally, he's been receiving accolades from the likes of BBC, as an artist to watch because of his first place finish in L.A.'s prestigious Project Blowed beat battle. as much as i try not to buy into hype, i couldn't help it this time.
regardless, this album far exceeded my expectations. Chung is a skilled producer. where Flying Lotus' music is a dense hodge-podge of samples competing for space, Chung's is spacey and ambient. there's a lot going on, but it doesn't feel crowded. Drift sounds more like what's happening with London's dubstep scene, than what his laptop wielding L.A. peers are doing. his main tie to glitch-hop is his belief that drum sounds can come from everywhere. besides the obvious handclap, there's the ripping of duct tape and jingle of pocket change ("1685/Bach"), and water leaking onto various surfaces ("IOIO").
the overall sound is that of music being made in a murky cellar, spacious and echoing, filled with drippy synth lines. that isn't to say it's in any way dreary or depressing. no, this is a celebration of the fun that can be had in dark, dank spaces. the only low spots come when he drops his dark minor chord facade in exchange for a cheerier one on "2222," and on "Lords," an otherwise brilliant track made less brilliant by the inclusion of human voices. they're brief hiccups, and i use the word "low" loosely, as everything on here is fairly exceptional.
Nosaj Thing - IOIO
Nosaj Thing - 1685/Bach
Nosaj Thing - Caves