28 Oct 2020

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Naircol - Album Review: Isolate

16 Oct 2020 // A review by Mike Alexander

Naircol is Tauranga-based synthesiser whizz Matt Hennessey.

I like that it is an anagram of clarion because this is quite the impressive calling card.

Apparently, he’s been beavering away on his own for quite some time on this labour of love. Hence, maybe, the title Isolate.

It’s a grand beast of an album, with bold flourishes that suggest a wide variety of influences without being restrained by them.

The two 'singles' that preceded its release – Lucid and Delineate – offer a snapshot of the unbridled and restrained nature inherent in most of his compositions.

Lucid is hazy and dreamy but kicks in with a monster beat and a late night jazz feel with some rippling melodies that flutter and dance about, while Delineate has a relentless snaky rhythm that catches its breath with a lovely keyboard lull and then storms off again.

The sense of momentum, sometimes the driven kind, is a strong impulse on Isolate.

With such divergent styles apparent, personal favourites are likely to vary. Two of mine are the short but sweet Null, which opens with a haunting piano melody and grandly eloquent synthesisers before a big meaty beat powers a swirling haze of electronics, and the title track, which, at just over eight minutes, impresses through the way it develops and shifts gears from the moody and thoughtful into a rumbling symphony of sound.

One thought keeps recurring after multiple back to back listening to the album in its entirety. Naircol’s approach is bold, fresh and dynamic. It can be quite relentless at times. A little more texture and subtlety would allow the music to breathe a bit.

Nevertheless, Isolate leaves a lasting first impression.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )

About Naircol

Naircol began his musical journey with guitar during late childhood, and idolized various Heavy Metal artists while also being exposed to more mainstream Pop, Funk, Rock, Jazz and Dance artists like Stevie Wonder, Jamiroquai, Micheal Jackson, Eagles, Chet Baker and Prince.

After leaving school he studied music composition and production full-time for two years and in doing so, discovered a hidden passion for producing electronic music.

Also massively influenced by video-game music and soundtracks from the late 80's, 90's and 2000's, Naircol prides himself on not being limited to the norms that electronic music has accumulated while still sounding catchy and grounded.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Naircol


Year: 2020
Type: Album

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