Exposé Online banner

Bill Nelson — Atom Shop
(Discipline DGM 9806, 1998, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 1999-04-01

Atom Shop Cover art

According to the DGM catalogue, Bill Nelson’s latest release is a product of some "retro-future Frankenstein’s lab." That’s true from the surface that the conceptual aspect is distinctly odd (lyrical subject matter, album artwork, and package), but underneath lies a careful exacting motive. The composer again challenges his listener to infuse a 50s optimism with unrealistic images of a proposed future. Modern aficionados could envision Beck reading a Robert Heinlein novel and deriving this savvy approach. Regardless, the disc is a haven for sampling where the mode of the day is a mix of groove-jazz, hip-hop, and pop music. Nelson describes this album as the end of a set "of-a-type" of three projects beginning with Practically Wired (1995) and then proceeding to After the Satellite Sings (1997). The artist is a refiner who is extremely comfortable doing everything himself in large quantities. Left to his own devices, the results are good modern representations of unfulfilled utopian disco landscapes, but there isn’t much new ground from the disc evident on repeated plays. Generally Atom Shop comes off as sophisticated fluff or an intricate background which may be part of the underlying purpose. Radioplay could be afforded to tracks such as the funky, "Rocket Ship" which would provide another positive inroad. Nelson should be embraced as innovator on par with Moby or the Dust Brothers but the Generation X crowd ain’t listening to artists of this caliber (yet). This album is another coy title in a blurring list of a huge individual catalog. But when does it all start to make sense?


Filed under: New releases, Issue 17, 1998 releases

Related artist(s): Bill Nelson

Latest news

2019-10-06
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

French TV - This Is What We Do – Sometimes I think French TV must be the result of a gene-splicing experiment combining DNA from Djam Karet and The Muffins. Then I hear a violin and that theory goes in the file with phlogiston and...  (2007) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues