Album review: Nosaj Thing – Fated
The popularity of the electronically-produced low-fi music genre has given rise to experiments with samples and mixes. Fated is a showcase of the ability of low-fi to create emotion through its arrangement of sound.
Experimental, ambient and unknown, Nosaj Thing’s Fated plays with sounds dredged from below, creating soundscapes that encapsulate the isolation of oneself as if consciously aware of the inevitable comfort loneliness brings. Coupled with heavily affected synths and sampled vocals, Fated experiments with its use of reverb, delays and panning to create a sense of space.
With a name that resonates like the echo of a long audible breath, ‘Sci’ exhales, beginning the album whirling like the automated spin cycle of your washing machine. At a steady pace the motors hum, the cyclical rotation of whirls and echoes.
‘Don’t Mind Me’ is a track that features the vocals of Whoarei. As it develops, a contrasting call-and-response effect comes to surface. Synthesizer samples and filtered vocals draw out the realistic inevitability isolation brings, as the track conforms to patterns of time and space of in which one becomes lost.
‘Cold Stares’ is a soulful track featuring the vocals of Chance The Rapper who cleverly incorporates words with music to paint an image of isolation and abandonment. Placed in juxtaposition with the album as a whole, the track is a refreshing change highlighting Chance’s vocals and his clever use of wordplay in amongst the mainly instrumental album.
‘Watch’ embodies the eagerness of waiting on time to pass. Playing with panning to create a sense of motion and possibly alluding to the illusion of time, ‘Watch’ layers differently timed tracks to create a contrast, which evokes a sense of weariness in amongst a busy music-based environment.
Disguised and distant, ‘Uv3’ portrays the idea of space, with sounds of indistinguishable vocals that emerge, peaking out like rays of light shining through a forest canopy brightening up the undergrowth. The following track ‘Let me’ awakens, starting off like a raising sun, music elevating the listener into a sort of rhythmical euphoria.
‘Erase’ is the absence of something, something taken or missing. ‘Erase’ arranges notes that blend well, its steady repetition of sound occasionally skipping notes only to pick them up later on in the track.
‘Medic’ is the call for assistance, imitating the sound of a heartbeat in the track’s beat of the song. The use of reverb and carefully placed sounds imitate a heartbeat, which carries through at a steady pace throughout the song.
In its entirety, Nosaj Thing’s Fated not only references patterns or samples one has become so familiar with, but presents a delightful smorgasbord of musical choice which can be sampled or consumed as a whole.
Words by Addy Fong.