20 Sep 2019

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Neutrikk - EP Review: Neutrikk

24 Apr 2019 // A review by Jamie Denton

Neutrikk are a relatively new duo from the musical hotbed of Waiheke-Island. Consisting of Nikki Ngatai (Oyawa, Aaron Carpenter & The Revelators) and Lee Catlin (These Automatic Changers, The Solomon Cole Band), Neutrikk have recently released their debut eponymous EP. With Nikki holding down the vocals, guitars, and percussion and Lee providing all of the ‘electronics’, this EP is an amalgamation of carefully arranged, composed, performed, and programmed acoustic and electronic components.

The Neutrikk EP is a collection of five beautiful, minimalist, art pop-electronica tracks that run over a generous 32 minutes. Resplendent with shimmering guitars, resonant bass, minimalist percussion, and achingly stunning vocals, these tracks are the perfect companion to a sunny, yet cool autumn day.

Musically, any female fronted pop-electronica duo will probably always draw comparisons to British stalwarts Everything But The Girl. However, such comparisons would be both disappointing and unfair as the tracks on this EP are far more eclectic, genre-defying, and more willing to take chances than anything EBTG ever did. Nikki and Lee are strong, mature songwriters, and they work amazingly well together to bring their musical vision to life. Every note, every beat, every melody of this EP is carefully considered for maximum effect.

Throughout this EP, there is a strong sense that Neutrikk wanted the whole to be more than the sum of the parts. This is especially evident in the extended outro of Something’s In The Water, which grooves along yet provides ample breathing room to allow the electronic beats and different instruments to shine through at different times. Speaking of this track, which is possibly my favourite, Something’s In The Water is a 7 minute 30 second song that leaves you wanting more, and it would be rude not to hit play on the EP again once it’s done.

Nikki Ngatai is easily one of the best vocalists I have heard in recent times. Her voice is simultaneously effortless, soaring, catchy, dripping with emotion, and never over the top. She has a genuine strength without needing to rely on vocal or studio trickery, a wonderfully gentle vibrato, and always serves the song first and foremost.

Overall, this is an EP that is sonically interesting, immaculately produced, and is a fantastic display of talent by a relatively new collaborative. If this is what Neutrikk can do, I look forward to the next release!

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )

About Neutrikk

Born on Waiheke Island via Leeds & Bradford through a mutual belief that a tune is a tune no matter what the style, Nikki & Lee led each other down sonic paths they wouldn't normally travel. The result is Neutrikk and their beautifully crafted debut EP.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Neutrikk


Year: 2019
Type: EP

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