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  • Filed under: Review
  • 06/12/2012

Nathan Fake Iceni Strings

Nathan Fake's records never fail to be truly synesthetic affairs. Arguably, the thread of continuity through his every release is the thick, shoegaze-like effect of his production, regardless of whether the track is more dancefloor oriented or aimed directly at the brain (as his tracks often are). This new single—the UK artist's first release since 2009's excellent Hard Islands mini-LP—is techno to the core, but is also disorienting and delightful in a way that is quite novel, even in light of the odd, innovative impulses that often marked his previous releases.

"Iceni Strings," the punchy opening track, is dazzling and lush; it's starry-eyed, thoroughly dreamy, and whimsical in true Border Community fashion. Perhaps the track is too intellectual for the dancefloor, but it's utterly ecstatic cranked through headphones or a stereo. The first single from his upcoming full-length, Steam Days, the song draws its name from the Iceni, a Celtic tribe that dwelled in what is currently Norfolk, where Fake is from. Stuttering its way into a sparkling conclusion, the production bodes very well for the forthcoming album.

The two tracks on the b-side are likewise terrific. Kicking off with the feverish rush of "Sense Head," Fake overwhelms what is a fairly straightforward house beat with crackly, dizzyingly arranged synths. It's psychedelic and rave-ready, whereas the following track, "Bauxite Dream," is considerably more subdued. About halfway through this moody closing cut, Fake gingerly introduces synths that nudge the track into the same sparkly headspace that characterizes the rest of the record. It provides a contemplative, downbeat counterpoint to what came before, nicely rounding out this very strong EP's 15 minutes. Given the all-around quality of this release, Steam Days, due out in late August, can't arrive soon enough.

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