After his universally accepted genius work on Drift, LA based downtempo producer Nosaj Thing is back at it with Home. I’m a bit late on this review, but the album is just so powerful I couldn’t bear not to report my thoughts to anybody willing to listen.
Home feels exactly how it’s titled. Each track is meticulously crafted and engineered to make you feel comfortable and cozy in your own skin. I feel that the album title is less a reference to a home in a physical sense, but more in a psychologic, personal way. ‘Prelude’ is a great example of this – slow, careful piano lines drift almost aimlessly down a slightly distorted ambiance, creating an effective soundscape of Nosaj’s brain that is surprisingly relatable. The first thing I noticed on that track and on a full listen of Home was the overall lack of percussion. On second thought, let me change lack to absence – the sparing drum work feels intentional to the point where the listener pays more attention to the space between the kicks and percs than the actual drums themselves. This is definitely the prime way to listen to the record, it is the synth/ambient work that really shines in each of the tracks.
Now, I love just an infinite amount of things about this record, but the most incredible things are the liberties and risks that Nosaj took throughout. The album is just SO personal, deep (both philosophically and sonically), and exploratory…while utilizing a few more ‘pop’ influences and obvious melodies than Drift, Home still feels dark, atmospheric, and slightly inaccessible, just like Nosaj Thing should sound like. The collaboration with Toro y Moi, for instance, brings in a synth-pop-esque vocal that at first appears to drive the track, but later is overtaken and blended with a big, swooping atmospheric synth. Relationships between instruments like these create an incredible dynamic throughout the record.
A stunning re-introduction after a four year hiatus from Nosaj Thing. Big ups. Buy it!