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Editor's info:
With his debut full-length album, Nodern - aka Mitch Stratten -blasts us into an introspective and apocalyptic world. Nodern has an uncanny ability to create dark brooding and carefully constructed electronic music, which shuttles with great ease from fractured poly-rhythms to menacing noise, interspersed with desolate ambient soundscapes. Produced over two-years, and in three cities, Nodern's signature sound has its grip firmly on the pulse of the sprawling urban settlements across the world. The album guides us through the relentless procession of industrial rhythmic structures to the suburban wastelands drenched in melancholy. Nodern's music seem to inhabit a perpetual twilight world where familiar spaces are swallowed in shadows, creating an ominous and sublime landscape. Nodern's confident album firmly establishes a unique sound in the ever-growing field of electronica.

"I recorded everything on the album. I wanted it to be pure and deliberately created opportunities for mistakes. I've used cheap sounds and big sounds and other opposites which will hopefully attract a diverse group of people."

Making an impact with your debut album is not an easy accomplishment. Nodern's self-titled CD may not have had a serious impact in terms of sales or revenues, but it delivers a musical proposition that stands out on first listen and establishes Nodern as a name to keep track of, at the very least. The man (is that him portrayed on the cover?) has drawn inspiration from several sources to deliver a variegated, provocative opus -- not provocative because it covers uncharted territory, but because it unabashedly blends elements of musique concrete, sound art, techno, and dance. The listener is carried from beat-heavy tunes to abstract textural landscapes, feverish noise collages, and glitchy pulses. The first half of the album is mostly dominated by tunes, including the hip-hop-esque "The Meat in the Street." A violent sound collage, the opening "Nodern Loves You" throws an impressive amount of information at the listener's ears in only a few seconds. In the second half, Nodern focuses more on moods and abstract soundsmithing, although he never loses sight of the more immediate side of his work. Tracks like "Not Down That Alley" and "Slave News" are very rich in sonic detail and wordless imagery. At any point in the album, you might be reminded of Pan Sonic, Thomas Köner, the German techno scene (although Nodern always has more warmth than that), or the cut-up antics of Otto Von Schirach (minus the scatological humor). Despite all of its audacities, this debut keeps the music accessible, grabbing the listener by the solar plexus and making him sweat before sitting him down to listen more closely.
François Couture / All Music Guide


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