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
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.
Related artist(s): Nouvelles Lectures Cosmopolites (NLC)
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more