CARLO NOGO - Le Long du Fleuve

Carlo Nogo - Le Long du Fleuve

8 songs
27:20 minutes
***** **


Another year has passed, so it is time again for a new EP from Carlo Nogo. He still hasnít changed a bit and still does what he wants to do, deliberately showing the middle finger to the mainstream. In times where a lot of music from Luxembourg has become more professional, which actually means more polished and therefore more commercial, Carlo Nogo is still doing his bedroom recordings, resulting in instrumental rock music with a heavy emphasis on the electric guitar.

Like we have come to expect from him, we get nearly half an hour of new music, this time spread over eight tracks that truly defy genre boundaries. Itís not post rock, certainly not indie or alternative rock, but just small vignettes of music that have risen from the mind of the artist. The song titles are weird and probably relate to life experience and/or consumed media (films, booksÖ) by the musician.

Take for instance the opener No Toilets In Versailles, a surprisingly upbeat rock song whose elevated pace might translate a visitorís urgent quest for find a bathroom when there are none available. This is Carlo Nogo at his best, with great rhythms, a nice guitar melody and jangly drum beats. The following Purple Crystals From Eternia is interrupted after half a minute by a strange keyboard melody that unfortunately robs the song from its momentum. As Logan Found The Ankh comes with surf guitar sound before it turns into an introspective melody. So the songs always manage to surprise and never overstay their welcome. None is shorter than two minutes, but also never longer than four minutes.

Yet my criticism from last time remains valid. The drum programming is quite good but could use a little more punch. Last time the bass guitar was too loud and deep in the mix. This time the bass guitar or programming is still favouring low notes, but has been relegated deep into the background, which is also not ideal. Maybe a slightly higher and louder would give the songs a backbone from which the guitar could take advantage.

But thatís just a minor complaint. In the end Carlo Nogo is one of the most authentic guitarists from Luxembourg who is probably fed up with the commercialisation of local music, and therefore records his music at home, gives it away for free or a small donation on Bandcamp. People who prefer their music handmade instead of produced to clinical death in a professional studio should check out Le Long du Fleuve. Beneath all the underground attitude, Carlo Nogo remains a vital songwriter that deserves to be heard by many.

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