4 Jul 2022
UsernamePassword

Remember Me? | Join | Recover
Click here to sign in via social networking

n1ghtmar3cat - Album Review: n1ghtmar3cat

19 Aug 2019 // A review by Jamie Denton

Better known as the drummer/backing vocalist of Auckland-based rock band Villainy, Dave Johnson has stepped out from behind the kit with his solo electronic music project entitled n1ghtmar3cat. With its sights firmly set on indie-electronica, n1ghtmar3cat’s eponymous debut album is an ambitious, sonically-rewarding, and highly immersive experience. Throughout the album, the clean, soaring vocal skills and highly capable, yet experimental songwriting is deservingly center stage.

The album kicks off with the sublimely surreal, yet lush Who Are You. Hypnotic layers of vocals bounce playfully off each other, creating a fascinating soundscape punctured only by the heavily filtered, minimalist rhythm. Despite its relatively short duration, clocking in at just 1 minute 44 seconds long, Who Are You, does a great job in catching the listener from the start and dragging them into this soundscape world that Dave Johnson has created.

Nestled near the middle of n1ghtmar3cat’s debut album is the curious one-two moment of the wonderfully strange, familiar yet psychedelic Weak Man and Tell Me. Slices of dirty, distorted electronic noise combine effortlessly with gentle, smooth vocals and highly melodious synth-lines, creating beautifully fragile tracks that placed so closely together make for a highly engaging and immersive middle-album push. This is music that you feel deep within your soul, as well as hear so vibrant.

Throughout my numerous listens to the album, I have been constantly wracking my brain trying to work out who this reminds me of, but every time just as I am about to grasp it the songs twist away, and it continues to elude me. And some of those twists are just magnificent, and so left-field. Lost and Found provides some of the greatest twists in this album, lurching between unexpected sounds, yet corralling them into a cohesive whole somehow.

Changing gears yet again and finishing up with the more straight-ahead, well for n1ghtmar3cat anyway, pop-infused Promises, this is a consistent, interesting, cohesive, experimental, experiential, immersive collection of seven crisp, well-produced tracks. While unfortunately short with a 24-minute run time, n1ghtmar3cat is an album, and project, that requires, and rewards, multiple listens.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )
 

About n1ghtmar3cat

As n1ghtmar3cat, Dave Johnston (Villainy) delivers an immersive debut single from his forthcoming self-titled album. Lost and Found highlights the many distinct yet impeccably integrated facets of his production, composition and songwriting arsenal.

The captivating debut single draws listeners in through a textural, bass-driven sonic experience – which at times takes centre stage, while at others perfectly undercurrents Johnston’s sleek, hook-laden vocals.

“I wanted the production style to weave in with the lyrical themes”, says Johnston. “The track deals with feelings of uncertainty and anxiety within a relationship, and the changes in instrumental energy aim to draw you into that headspace.”

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for n1ghtmar3cat

Releases

n1ghamar3cat
Year: 2019
Type: Album

Other Reviews By Jamie Denton

Arrays - Single Review: Glass Traps
06 Jun 2022 // by Jamie Denton
Auckland-based rock/metal act Arrays is the brainchild and ‘creative sandbox’ of musician/producer JP Carroll (ex-Armed in Advance, and currently also with Swerve City). Having known JP for a number of years, and having followed his career through Stitches, which became Armed in Advance, and then into Arrays and later Swerve City, he has consistently remained a strong creative force, a passionate and prolific producer and performer of music, and possibly kiwi-music’s most genuine, nicest, and most down to earth personalities (albeit one that is loaded with a plethora of terrible puns that he will unleash at any and all opportune moments).
Read More...
Speech Act Theory - Single/Video Review: Old Versus New
25 Feb 2022 // by Jamie Denton
Initially conceived of as purely a studio project to fuse electronica with live drums and other instruments, Auckland-based alternative/electronica Speech Act Theory is the brainchild of producer/musician Pete Hickman alongside drummer Ben Bradford. With the project kicking off in the latter end of 2019 — which is probably not the greatest timing, with all the upcoming turmoil and disruption to live music etc.
Read More...
Steven Hue - EP Review: Assembly
15 Feb 2022 // by Jamie Denton
At the start of December, I had the opportunity to review the double single Brainstare / Manatorquim by Tasmanian-based ex-pat Kiwi, Steven Hue. At that time, I noted that another three songs would be following shortly, and that, based on the strength of these original two, I was eagerly anticipating what this next batch would have in store.
Read More...
Floor Five - EP Review: The Garden
28 Jan 2022 // by Jamie Denton
Indie-pop/rock band Floor Five are relative new-comers on the Kiwi music scene. Following up a couple of previous singles (2020’s Overthinking and 2021’s Strawberry Wine), the Wellington based four-piece’s partially crowd-funded EP The Garden was released just as the country returned to the red light setting of the Covid protection framework.
Read More...
Steven Hue - Double Single Review: Brainstare / Mantorquim
06 Dec 2021 // by Jamie Denton
Ex-pat Kiwi now based in Tasmania, Steven Hue may be familiar to many through his previous work as former vocalist and co-writer for popular experimental band Full Code, his stint studying at the Nelson School of Music, or his commission work which has seen him produce work for art installations, short files, and video games. Turning his hand to solo electronic music, Steven has just released a double single of two new tracks: Brainstare and Manatorquim.
Read More...
Stray Theories - Album Review: This Light
07 Oct 2021 // by Jamie Denton
Based in Aotearoa New Zealand, Australian musician/composer Micah Templeton-Wolfe has a long, successful history with crafting works that explore rich, lush melodies within vast ambient, cinematic soundscapes. While some of his works have become the soundtracks to independent short films, television and radio commercials, multimedia projects, art installations, and specifically commissioned sound design or compositional pieces, he has also maintained an interest in releasing material as a musical artist.
Read More...
Justin Sane - Single Review: You Bout That
10 Jun 2021 // by Jamie Denton
Ex-UK, now Auckland-based DJ/producer, Justin Sanehas a long history in the music industry. He has been releasing music for over 15 years, both within Aotearoa New Zealand and the UK, and has a long list of collaborations with a wide range of artists (including Dane Rumble, Kids in Space, {3Oh!
Read More...
House Of Downtown - Album Review: Re-Release
06 May 2021 // by Jamie Denton
Electronica/house music legends House of Downtown return from a near-twenty-year hiatus with a new album entitled Re-Release that revisits, remixes, remasters, and reconceptualises 2001’s critically and commercially successful debut album Release. Having been very familiar with House of Downtown during their original heyday and having spent a lot of time listening to their previous releases (the aforementioned Release and 2003’s Mutha Funkin’ Earth), I was nervously excited to check this new album out.
Read More...
View All Articles By Jamie Denton

NZ Top 10 Singles

  • GLIMPSE OF US
    Joji
  • RUNNING UP THAT HILL (A DEAL WITH GOD)
    Kate Bush
  • AS IT WAS
    Harry Styles
  • GO (GODDARD. REMIX)
    Cat Burns
  • VEGAS
    Doja Cat
  • JIMMY COOKS
    Drake feat. 21 Savage
  • BIG CITY LIFE
    Luude And Mattafix
  • I AIN'T WORRIED
    OneRepublic
  • FIRST CLASS
    Jack Harlow
  • ABOUT DAMN TIME
    Lizzo
View the Full NZ Top 40...
muzic.net.nz Logo
100% New Zealand Music
All content on this website is copyright to muzic.net.nz and other respective rights holders. Redistribution of any material presented here without permission is prohibited.
Report a ProblemReport A Problem