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

Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more

Adelbert von Deyen RIP – Word reaches us that German electronic musician Adelbert von Deyen has died. His recorded legacy reaches back to 1978, when Sky Records released Sternzeit. Von Deyen, who was born October 25, 1953 in Süderbrarup, was also known as a painter and graphic artist. » Read more

Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more

10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more

Tom Rapp RIP – Singer / songwriter Tom Rapp, best known with the band Pearls Before Swine, passed away on February 12, at the age of 70, after a battle with cancer. » Read more

Previously in Exposé...

Azalia Snail - Escape Maker – Anyone remember when indie rock really was far-out and "alternative?" Welcome to the lo-fi, do-it-yourself world of Azalia Snail, an eccentric, individualistic woman with an intensely...  (1999) » Read more

Listen & discover

Print issues