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n.ln Astronomy for Children Review

Album. Released 2004.  

BBC Review

Film School guitarist Nyles Lannon with his bedroom electronica project...

Peter Marsh 2004

Nyles Lannon sings and plays guitar with San Franciscan indie outfit Film School and has recorded with drifty post rockers Asuza Plane among others. Astronomy for Children is the debut from his bedroom electronica project n.ln, and is influenced by Lannon's childhood exposure to his dad's collection of early fusion records by Herbie Hancock and Weather Report.

There's maybe a hint of Sextant's rainforest funk in Lannon's lush electronic excursions, but this isn't the cyberjazz of Carl Craig, Burnt Friedmann or Four Tet; there's nary a Fender Rhodes or a wah-wah pedal in earshot.

It's Lannon's ear for a good tune that's the main focus of this record. Wispy, melancholic tunes they are too, sometimes half buried beneath a haze of muted glitches and soft atmospherics, sometimes emerging to tickle your neurons and send tiny shivers up and down your limbs (see the sublime "4 little fires" for details). Not-very-funky hiphop beats straight out of the Boards of Canada songbook provide the frame for these fragile, intricate constructions.

Similarly, n.lngeneratethe kind of woozy nostalgia beloved of BOC, albeit a less grainy, less quirky strain. BOC fans will find plenty to love here, and the sweetly plaintive power of Lannon's muse will keep you coming back for more. Two slight reservations; why do people still use samples off porn films, and (more pertinently) why is the utterly gorgeous "Thoughts" only three minutes long? Recommended.

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