Casio Music 2

Nick Joliat

People/Places/Records, 2023

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


As you might have gathered from the title, Nick Joliat knows his way around a Casio keyboard, but the five tracks of this second installment with a Casio also embrace Dan Wick’s skills, as he contributes bass and electric guitar to the experimental and iconoclastic formula. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The colorful opener “Projector” sets the tone with plenty of bleeps and bloops from the adventurous keys for the sci-fi flavored exploration that’s quite creative and tips its hat to Maya Erdelyi and Dan Rowe, who created the artwork. “Ornithopter” then follows with more percussive ideas entering the drum-looping and melodies that flirt with bird call and overlapping techniques while utilizing the bass in unconventional ways.

At the halfway point, the feedback-drenched “Rainbow” pairs drum machines with unorthodox melodies that emits playful piano and exciting electric guitar from Wick. “Underwater Garden Of Forking Paths,” the best track, then makes the most out of the polychords via the slower presence that places improvisation amid the wandering noises and well timed bass solo.

The last tune, “Raccoon Shutting Down The Power Grid,” is a more organic closer, as a pair of Casios interact with funk moments, polyrhythmic arpeggios and a distinct rhythm that eventually fades like an electronic losing its power.

Joliat is a classically trained pianist well versed in the sounds of Balinese gamelan and various subgenres of rock. His vision of timbre and frequency is quite interesting, and he manages to make highly inventive music from what some people might call toys. Joliat got quite ill in 2017, which made recording these songs a challenge. Editing and mixing were done while bedridden. And though it may have been difficult to make, it’s quite easy to enjoy for fans of atypical keyboards and electronic manipulation. 

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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