Nostalgic For Now (EP)
Absolute Motion, 2012
REVIEW BY: Vish Iyer
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 08/17/2012
While an EP might not seem to have the same cache as a full-length album, Nostalgic For Now is no insignificant offering from Mr. Meeble. Clocking at over 35 minutes with only six tracks, this collection of music is big, and by no means simplistic, and in league with the band’s debut Never Trust The Chinese. Like its precursor, Nostalgic For Now is a meandering trip through the dingy alleys of electronic music where the boundary between weirdness and beauty is just a faint line drawn solely by the listener’s imagination.
Nostalgic For Now is an extension of the band’s debut, as it traverses through various sub-genres of electronic music with the band’s wonderful and eccentric interpretations. The opening cut “Liar,” in the typical Mr. Meeble fashion, goes through various transformations, starting off as a dark and claustrophobic trip-hop number, eventually opening up and gaining heavy beats, and then guitars, before finally exploding in a cathartic industrial blast. The single “Star Power” is a chill electroclash cut with laidback beats that are definitely dancey but not bouncy. “Gift,” which is over seven and a half minutes long, is a soulful epic, and one of those cuts where the band prefers real drums over the drum-machine and uses lots of guitars, trading its dance roots for experimentation with rock music.
The second half of this EP is made up of what one might think of as lesser tracks, like an instrumental (“Hotel Window”) and remixes of the cuts “Liar” and “Gift.” This might make this half appear of lesser significance on paper, but it would be criminal to think so. In line with the brilliant instrumentals that were such a big part of Mr. Meeble’s previous record, “Hotel Window” is beautiful and surreal, with a mood and style that is foreboding and sinister, akin to an instrumental on a Nine Inch Nails record.
The remixes of “Liar” and “Gift” are like two totally new songs. Usually remixes play the role of beefing up the quantity of music on an album, but don’t do much in making it any richer; but that’s not the case with Nostalgic For Now. “Liar (Soulwhirling Mix)” takes the original, slows and strips it down, and turns it into a gothic and near choral piano piece with haunting vocals; In contrast, “Gift (Sergey vs. Meeble)” makes a cheerful and bubbly techno version of the somber original: absolute reinterpretations are what these tracks are, not trivial remixes.
Once again, Mr. Meeble has proved itself to be one of those few groups that have such a unique interpretation of music, that it has created its own distinguishing sound, which nonetheless keeps changing in most unpredictable and amazing ways.