First Listen: Nguzunguzu "Warm Pulse" EP

Any music – and electronic music especially – is the repetition of sounds. Mostly it is the low frequency bass that runs more or less steady through a track, but the higher frequency melodies are repeated chords too, of course. This fact rarely gets as obvious as on Nguzunguzu’s new EP “Warm Pulse”, out on “Hippos in Tanks” this week. The five tracks on this EP mostly don’t sound like songs, maybe not even tracks, but more like sound studies on repetition.

They are like a music producer’s raw material to me, like experimental work on which to build songs later on. Or like Clams Casino’s Intrumental Mixtapes: Stripped down sounds put out long after the commercial tracks were published. The descriptive nature of the track titles certainly doesnt help to disperse this idea. “Warm Pulse” builds on a pulsating bass, the third track features something that could be seen as a “Smoke Alarm”. Nguzunguzu take one short, high frequency melody and let it run through – the smoke alarm, or the X-Files-like melody in “Drop Cage”.

But there is something in most every song that you can get lost in. Because first of all, the EP has great production value – maybe the best I heard this year so far. Those here are pristine, “fresh” sounds for sure. And it is executed in a relaxed, minimal way. They seldom get as hasty as in some parts of the fourth track, the weakest on the EP. But most of all, the repetion is hypnotic, and that gets to you in the same way last years records by Panda Bear or Gang Gang Dance got to you. Nguzunguzu aren’t where those are yet, but they aren’t too far off.

Listen to “Smoke Alarm” below, or to the whole EP streamed at the Red Bull Music Acadamy.


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