Harold Nono - Ideeit

12 songs
45:43 minutes
***** **


Active since 2007, Harold Nono has already releases three solo albums, one collaborative effort with Japanese musician Hidekazu Wakabayashi, plus has been a member of bands like Taub, Jikan Ga Nai and Haq. What all of these records have in common is the fact that they always sound quite strange and possibly donít offer what the general populace would even consider music. Thereís also not much information to be found about Harold Nono. I think he is from Scotland, but I am not sure, and was also unable to find out his true name. There are even no artist photos on his Facebook page. So all in all a very mysterious artist!

On his new album Ideeit, we might get even stranger sounds than in the past. There are twelve tracks on the album, but at times you donít know when one piece has finished and the next one has begun. The opener Tahiik is a little over four minutes long, but gives you the impression to consist of three different miniature compositions. A few tracks have Japanese titles, showing the artistís love for Eastern culture. This was also already highlighted on his album with Hidekazo Wakabayashi.

One would expect the music to be electronic, considering that we have to deal with a solo artist, but as a matter of fact, there are tons of different acoustic instruments, even string sections and orchestral arrangement, but these latter never condescend to cheesy dramatic grandeur. Instead everything feels very subdued, with the artist using pauses to create dynamic tension throughout the album. I donít even know if these instruments have been recorded specifically for the album, or if we have a major case of plunderphonics. At times I guess the latter, but everything fits so well that I also have my doubts. There is a certain amount of musique concrŤte that has crept into the music, creating some kind of movie soundtrack atmosphere with hints of ambient and post rock also to be made out.

The three-quarters of an hour that make out Ideeit are best listened to in one take, in a sombre room, maybe with a glass of heady rich red wine, and some candles for atmosphere. This is a very earnest sounding music, showing that Harold Nono is more a composer in the classical sense than for instance an outsider pop artist, which means that you have to tackle his music with the right mindset. Definitely not entertaining in a carefree way, but if you are looking for serious music with an incredible richness of sound, then Harold Nono might just be the artist you have been looking for.

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