May 2014 08

Nebulo - CastlesNebulo
Category: Ambient / Electronic / IDM
Album: Castles
Stars: 4
Blurb: A thoughtful, unsettling, and melodically entrancing concept piece that continues to set Nebulo apart in an abstract world of his own.


Never estranged to the challenge of delving into uncharted synth-laden crevices, French composer Thomas Pujols has been fascinating ambient and IDM proponents since 2006’s Kolia. With his abstract themes and eclectic sonic palette always focused in the direction of uninhibited expression and avant-gardism, it comes as very little surprise that he draws inspiration from the likes of Aphex Twin to even David Lynch. Expanding the dark, depressing, and quasi-lo-fi foundation of the Basements EP, Castles sees his next transformation as Nebulo in a dynamic and deeply conceptual form.

Within the first few seconds, the intimate and nearly claustrophobic heavy reverbs in “Popcult” set the overall gloomy mood. While the record retains an incredibly bleak feel throughout, the bleeps and glitches that scuff through the beat-driven terrains conjure various emotions. From the soft and almost comfortingly minimalist “Boxxx” to the threatening and shrill “Echory” to the nightmarish haze in “Vertigo,” Pujols lures and continuously engages his audience around every dark, cinematic corner. Syncopated dance rhythms and crystalline synths stride through the cavernous atmospheres of “Basements” and “Mireor” only to be met with the offbeat distortion in “Coryza I” and the surreal ambience in “Mora,” exhibiting that monotony is very much a foreign entity to the imaginative DNA of Nebulo.

Conceptually, Castles can be viewed as a commentary on the prevalent dissatisfaction and loneliness of humankind. However, much like 2012’s Cardiac and earlier works, the vast appeal lies in the subjectivity that can be expected with such a thought-provoking art form, even if the intended narrative is structured around “…ambitions and dreams about building something impossible resulting in illusive castles in the sky…” From a technical standpoint, and despite some minimalist textures, Nebulo rewires his sound and presents a dark and progressive yet relatively accessible experience from a different spectrum.
Track list:

  1. Popcult
  2. Sill
  3. Boxxx
  4. Echory
  5. 16
  6. Vertigo
  7. Basements
  8. Mireor
  9. Coryza I
  10. Spell Sleep
  11. Mora

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Purchase at:
Amazon CD
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Zachary Locke (ZLocke)

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