Maayan Nidam, Don’t Know Why/Feels Like

[Perlon]


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When I first sampled the little sips of this 12-inch on the Hard Wax website a couple months ago, I immediately felt that tingly warmth in my chest that seems to indicate something worth investigating. After the release of her debut album Night Long last year, Maayan Nidam left me wondering: what next? She seemed to have shed the Miss Fitz moniker for all but remixes, and in stepping into her own name she had moved, too, into a new era of emotional, mature, and even contemplative dance music. While her productions past were always composed with taste and precision, the artful formulation of the full-length upgraded her brand of dry-but-funky minimalism to an intoxicated, swaying jazzy wonderland.

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As with most records, it wasn’t until after several homefront listens that my infatuation subsided enough for a clearheaded evaluation. “Don’t Know Why” delivered the same swampy low tones I loved in “La Noche De Ayer,” calling to mind the sloppy, droop-eyed sways off an exhausted dance crowd at 8 a.m. But a few more rotations revealed that beyond the first few moments the track becomes, frankly, a bit of a bore. The chimes are prime, the chords are fine, but ultimately there is no narrative. (Not that there necessarily needs to be one, but it’s something I loved about her last record and many of her DJ sets.) Nevertheless, the reverse side’s “Feels Like” more than redeems any overdue yawns that might creep onto dance floor faces during the chiming lullaby of “Don’t Know Why.” Here, the track unfurls like a lovely nightmare, with a beat that manages to be both punchy and plodding accompanied by dangerous, druggy faux-vocals. A beautifully flittering, perfectly processed melody swims to the surface just long enough to ensure a bit of uncomfortable introspection before plunging down below the bass again. While in the end this release may not yet be Maayan’s magnum opus, it is certainly a stepping stone in the right direction.

gab  on March 8, 2010 at 9:16 AM

I thought Night Long was the best album by far last year. Shame no one agreed with me…

harrison  on March 9, 2010 at 9:55 PM

fair review, i really like the record, lots of people (perlon uberfans especially) have slated it loads!

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