Exposé Online banner

NLC — The Cereal Killer
(Musea GA 8624 AR, 1999, CD)

Nouvelles Lectures Cosmopolites — Unis
(Musea GA 8631 AR, 1996/1999, CD)

by Sean McFee, Published 2001-03-01

The Cereal Killer Cover artUnis Cover art

NLC is a project led by one Julien Ash, who has apparently been at this for some time, although these two releases were my first exposure to his work Their relative anonymity may not last, as they are now with Musea’s Gazul sub-label for new/avant-garde music. Unis is actually a reissue of the original 1996 release on the Karismatik label, and appears with a bonus track NLC contributed to a tape compilation on the Harmonie label. On this album the band is a quartet, with two on keys (including Ash), one on cello and the last on “toys.” There seems to be an impressionist quality at work here, with fairly sparse arrangements and a free or open tonality. The title track features male and female chanting on top of the music, but apart from this everything is instrumental. This album is best when things stay calm, as in the “rockier” moments a somewhat annoying programmed snare disrupts the mood. A good album that could be made better with real drumming. At over sixty minutes this is somewhat of a long haul, too.

The Cereal Killer, from 1999, sees Ash and A. Gibax (cello) return, supplemented with five additional musicians. Percussion is still programmed, but is done more effectively and is therefore less intrusive on the compositions. The music takes on a neo-classical sheen not dissimilar to bands like Rachel’s, although there is a more playful element at work here. This album is more concise, with six tracks ranging from five to nine minutes apiece. The compositions are generally more effect-laden than on Unis, with less reliance on the cello. Some of this material strikes me as overly cold, but that is not a negative so much as a characteristic trait. All in all, while I don’t love this stuff, it does have a lot going for it. One to take a chance on, perhaps.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 21, 1999 releases, 1996 recordings

Related artist(s): Nouvelles Lectures Cosmopolites (NLC)

Latest news

2018-09-05
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

2018-07-31
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

2018-07-09
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

2018-07-01
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

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Rotor - 3 – Rotor is a power trio (drums, bass, and electric guitar) from Berlin who play aggressive hard-hitting instrumental music that is a mixture of Starless era King Crimson and stoner rock. This...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues