Nether - Moon Dub
The Space Cadets collective are fast becoming the darlings of the exploratory minimal. As artists, their creative scope and versatility is praiseworthy enough; as a label, their resolutely dedicated vision has successfully bridged the gap between pre-defined sound and conceptual experimentalism. Cadet Nether steps up for the label’s fourth instalment of the series – Moon Dub EP – an unassuming and beautifully graceful addition to the stellar NASA catalogue.
Moon Dub’s airy arrangement opens majestically: flickering reverbs and celestial, infectious pads pierced by metallic shimmers that nod towards the neo-futuristic soundscape of the Matrix, before dissipating into an edited, semi-hostile funky drummer break that rolls supreme. The track retains its ominous edge through fading, glitchy snares and swirling breadth, a passive-aggression that remains poignant in its lack of fulfilment. It’s a securely structured 170 ambience that never deviates from its distinct path yet in its simplicity offers a rewarding balance for the casual and keen-eared listener alike.
Oracle continues the title track’s steadfast and assured tone whilst introducing beats of a more tribal, sparse nature. A swirling, churning, volcanic atmosphere creates a foreboding lurk, and, laced with dominating mechanic pads that ebb and flow, lingers on the precipice of aggression. Layers of steppy drum taps complete this ethereal piece; think stripped-down Subwave.
Gliese 581g is Nether’s symphony of the abstract, a true testament of the producer’s surreal and enveloping artistry. Opening with a decidedly loose 2-step structure, the track wastes no time in delving into its shifting, aphorismic bassline. Echoes of cathedral chimes accompany its simmering arrangement and indigenous, solitary expanse. Its sounds fit a pre-defined structure yet maintain an organic, spontaneous core – a precise illustration of the Space Cadets’ ethos.
The Space Cadets are displaying an impressive, uniform commitment to the minimal cause, always at the forefront of Autonomic expansion and creative depth. The artwork by talented Theo-Ellsworth and his ‘Thought Cloud Factory’ deserves credit too: his wildly inventive space-opera prints fit the label’s philosophy all too comfortably. In this day and age superlatives are overused with off-hand abandon, but when a label shows as much craftsmanship, those involved deserve all the acclaim they receive.
One last thing: word on the street is that Russia’s Microfunk Crew – aka Bop, Oak & Jalex – are being lined up for a future NASA release. We’re most excited.