CARLO NOGO - Foggy Morning

Carlo Nogo - Foggy Morning

8 songs
32:17 minutes
***** ****


Most artists canít have enough presence on the Internet, but when you google Carlo Nogo, you will only land on the Bandcamp page for his third EP Foggy Morning. Apart from a review I once wrote for his first or second EP, there isnít even any trace of his previous solo material to be found. The guitarist of Nogo Stunts and the late Yegussa proved already on his previous EP that he is an excellent songwriter when he is working by himself. This impression is even more emphasised on Foggy Morning.

The eight songs on the EP make it to over half an hour. At an average of four minutes a piece, the new tracks seem more developed and mature than Carlo Nogoís previous efforts. Now I am a person easily bored by the repetitive nature of post rock and the nervous energy of math rock, especially when the songs are instrumental. In between these two extremes, you will find Carlo Nogo who is just an excellent songwriter, and his guitar playing has developed and improved so much over time that his compositions donít even need vocals anymore. He also claims that he does not adhere to one single genre, and while that statement is true, it must also be noted that his signature guitar sound is whatís keeping the album together.

Often, instrumental music is nice but the songs donít leave much of an impression. A little track by track guide of Foggy Morning shows that things are different here. The opener Back To Helsinki is a hypnotic kraut rock piece where the pulsating rhythm guitar is superposed with a dreamy guitar part. Mista Suljemani is ironically playing with oriental influences, and its understated performance makes sure that it doesnít devolve into satirical territory. Thereís even a few synth parts that add even more atmosphere. Bears combines instrumental rock with a certain disco flair, as if the Scissor Sisters had kicked out their vocalist and moved to a lo-fi basement. Amonia Jam is on the surface a typical Carlo Nogo song, except that all the notes sound off, giving this piece the aura of a really bad acid trip... but in a good way. Balkan Road once again plays with ethnic influences, but Nogo is such an accomplished musician that the integration of the foreign sounds work perfectly within the context of his own music. James Francoís Moustache is another very subdued track, coming with a Brazilian Latin jazz touch. Prince Adam starts with a gloomy organ part, then quickly turns into a bouncy dance rock track, something I wouldnít have expected on this album. And the songís quirky organ outro is also out of this world and reminds of a Nintendo Mario game. The concluding Crossing The Bering Strait, at five minutes the longest track on the EP, brings us back to more accustomed territory.

The EP is offered at a pay-what-you-want price so there is no excuse not to get it. Are there any negative things that need to be pointed out? Some songs have rather abrupt endings, and the production is not overly polished, but frankly, I consider these advantages because they help to keep the music authentic. If you are bored with musicians always trying to become more streamlined just to get some airplay on national radio, I suggest you check out Carlo Nogo, an incredible guitarist and songwriter who still keeps things down to earth.

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