Nekes, Cristal

Photo by Red Label


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Of the two labelheads behind Oslo, Frankfurt’s hottest new export, Federico Molinari has always been more visible than his partner, Nekes. Whereas Molinari has released a solo 12″, remixed a handful of tracks, and collaborated with Guillaume Coutu Dumont as The Per Eckbo Orchestra and with Vera for Love Letters From Olso’s inaugural release, Nekes’ sole vinyl appearance is his (admittedly great) “Gualia” remix for Johnny D. But the “Cristal” EP finds it was only a matter of time before Nekes joined his crew in the spotlight. Sascha Dive turns in two remixes (one digital exclusive) to round out the package, if unevenly.

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With their eighth release, Oslo’s signature sound has become even more well defined: slender in profile, focused on tonality rather than overt melody, marked by the humanizing flair of tribal/hand percussion and vocal samples, and given towards utilitarian structures. As with other Oslo producers, this template works well enough in Nekes’ hands. “Cristal” doesn’t make the best first impression, however, when the tightly-stitched vocal serving as the track’s backbone quickly wears out its welcome and listeners’ patience. By contrast, “Waitin” weaves its ceaseless vocals between its flexing bass line, chunky organic rhythms and a spare single chord to evoke a dusky summer mood; it’s a treat to mix with, too. Deep Vibes impresario, Sascha Dive, makes “Cristal” infinitely more palatable by paring back the vocals to sporadic, room-encircling chants, swapping in full-bodied percussion and leaving some much needed blank space on the canvas. But his Beatport-only version of “Cristal” is disposable at best, seemingly constructed from bits left on the cutting room floor. Somewhat of a wobbly start for Oslo’s quieter half, but the “Cristal” EP is a decent starting point for Nekes and affirms the durability of the label’s overarching aesthetic.

Shawn  on September 27, 2008 at 12:04 AM

amazing! I just got back from hearing Clive Henry play this in Santo Domingo. Oddly, he ended his set with a remix Peter, Bjorn, and John.


Little White Earbuds » Little White Earbuds August Charts  on September 9, 2008 at 8:56 PM

[…] My My, “Everybody’s Talkin’” [Playhouse] (buy) 07. Nekes, “Waitin” [Oslo] (buy) 08. Henrick Schwarz, ├éme & Dixon, “D.P.O.M.B.” (Version 2) […]

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