Nosaj Thing: Home

d63ea8f8You press play and become surround by eerie textures, followed by what feels like a standard hip-hop beat- but no, as you venture on you discover this music is far more intelligent than that. The enigmatic feelings are draped over your shoulders in a way that makes you curious and unsure of who’s behind it all. There’s a sense of mystery that emanates from the unpredictable forms, pulling you deeper into a new place you’ve never seen before; a dark tunnel with no end in sight. And you venture on…

It’s truly difficult to tell what kind of world you’re stepping into when listening to Nosaj Thing. I was on my way to the subway listening to the new album Home and, having been familiar with old songs like ‘Coat of Arms’ and ‘Caves’ whose deep and often sluggish beats sank into my ears like bowling balls in molasses and drove the song to a running pace, I was somewhat surprised by the new vibe that came with this album: It’s darker, devoid of the upbeat energy of the past. I imagine a story set in the not-so-distant future, within the towering structures of a metropolis built on experimental ideas, looming at the edge of a desert where the old world once thrived…

I find myself comforted by those classic electronic sounds reminiscent of 80’s movie scores, as well as the new, unfamiliar ones that I have the pleasure of hearing for the first time. Tracks like ‘Try feat. Toro y Moi’ (which, in my opinion, serves as the climactic love scene of this cinematic album) are furnished with triumphant progressions capable of making the soul ache, as well as an eclectic use of percussion that exceeds the limits of traditional rhythms and redefines tasteful composition. Yes, Nosaj Thing is one of those artists that leaves me very impressed and hopeful for the future of music.

I especially recall my journey through the second track, ‘Eclipse/Blue feat. Kazu Makino’; I had one of those lonely star-struck moments when I heard Makino’s voice step in—and that’s when things started to make sense to me. To have such a talented vocalist like the lead singer of Blonde Redhead feature on a track is one thing, but to find the perfect voice for a song is another; it completes the mood in a way that cant be done by any other instrument, fitting in with the piece so well that you couldn’t imagine it any other way. It’s impossible to accurately describe the energy and the mental scenes which accompanied that realization, but it felt almost like a failed romance, like being left alone in a desolate plain within yourself and nothing else but the sadness and pain in your heart—and the music was your remedy, your fulfillment of that emptiness by escaping into another world.

It was at this point that I finally understood how to listen to Home, which at first I found to be challenging and confusing: I had to discern what mindset I needed to have in order to fully enjoy it. The key is to listen with a mindful ear, then it will grow on you, broadening your senses and sharpening your mind with each sampling… 9/10

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