Crossing the Horizon: Brian Flanders/Nauseous Youth Future

The blurb on CD Baby reads: “A singing canary being thrown into a helicopter engine, yet still able to sing within the grinding noise of the chopper.” Well, yes. That’s a good summary.

But don’t let this put you off. Dosage combines a real melodic sense (chords! form! modulations! more than one key!) and glitch done with style. Yes, it is possible, twenty-minute pointless laptop improvisations notwithstanding. Take slightly creepy, sometimes haunting, sometime plaintive melody. Add rhythm tracks ranging from straight-ahead shuffle to light-speed drum-n-bass, all completely composed of crunchy fuzzy squelchy noises, manipulated with a gleeful digital buzzsaw. Now the hard part: make it work. Dosage does.

I’m normally not much of a glitch fan: too often the aesthetic seems to be more “I am obviously far more an artiste than you, for I like this” or maybe “man, I cannot believe you putting up with this and applauding”. Nauseous Youth Future comes from a place that says “this genre has something to say that can’t be said otherwise”. Anything that does that is worth a listen.

There’s a lot of technical excellence here too. In-your-face, dry glitchiness combined with cavernous processed spaces – which are subject themselves to the glitch treatment in toto. There’s also a good sense of musicality, with nice choices of instrumentation. No fear of allowing either pure glitch or pure melody its own time before recombining them again.

Overall, I think this CD does a great job of bridging genres, with its own interesting aesthetic. Definitely worth a listen.

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