Nick Nicely — Space of a Second
(Lo, 2014, CD)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2014-10-04In the 80s, with the rise of inexpensive cassette tapes there was a lot of musical experimentation. Anyone with a cassette deck and some microphones suddenly started exploring the limits of music that previously had been available only at universities and large music studios. Industrial music had come of age. Artists like Merzbow, Aube, and Jeff Greinke explored various sound sources and heavily processed them to extract new and complex structures. They were reacting to the current trends in music. Merzbow of course is famous for exploring noise as an art form, and he even recycled his released material to create new compositions. At the same time in England nick nicely released the cult psych gem “Hilly Fields (1892)” that Fruits de Mer reissued in 2012 along with an updated version “Hilly Fields (the mourning)” on the flip side. In 2012 Fruits de Mer released another nicely tune “Rosemary’s Eyes” on their double 7” The League of Psychedelic Gentlemen. My Exposé review of the Hilly Fields disc was very positive, and I felt the same about “Rosemary’s Eyes.” Both “Hilly Fields (the mourning)” and “Rosemary’s Eyes” appear on nick’s new release Space of a Second. From what I’ve heard, nick has some very fixed views on mixes, and rather than simply reissue the FdM versions, he decided to process them through his effects stack. In fact he did that for all 12 songs on Space of a Second, some so heavily processed that the original song is buried in reverb. It is difficult to tell about the other songs, but it is quite possible that they could have stood on their own without the excessive signal processing. There is no sense that nick was trying to explore the use of noise in psychedelic music or even trying to extend the genre. Instead it seems to me that he was trying to be über psychedelic, which does not work. If you want to truly appreciate his music, try to locate copies of the 2012 FdM releases.
Related artist(s): Nick Nicely
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more