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Nos Phillipé Shh...Camille Review

Album. Released 2008.  

BBC Review

If it's dream music, it's a very bad one indeed.

Chris Jones 2008

East London duo, Nos Phillipé (Jonathan Webb and Robert Hopps), have thus far only produced one home-produced CD-R since their inception in 2004. Shh… is their first real statement. They use field recordings as the basis of their extended droneology. It may be abstract, but one thing's for sure: Their's is not happy music.

In terms of improvised drones, the overall feeling tends towards claustrophobia, with high register dissonance mirroring the cd's first five minutes of equally dark sub-bass. Using guitars and viola heavily processed this is a long way from the more meditative drones of, say, Tony Conrad. If it's dream music, it's a very bad one indeed. In keeping with the capital’s seamier side, and not unlike the recent Burial album, this is a document of urban dread. It has a reverb-drenched monumentality but refuses to give the listener any luxury of digressive dialogue or alternative interpretation.

Without any insight into the pair's working methods it's hard to say how aleatoric Nos Phillipé's music actually is, but one senses perhaps too much intention here. This is music that is monolithic and of a single purpose. As such, while it begins offering hope, by its conclusion it has rather flattened any dream of expectation other than post-industrial brutality. Such a singular reading may, of course, be wrong. And the duo’s technique and execution is faultless. Yet one can't help thinking that in time they could and should open their horizons to allow a little sunshine in. A thing of beauty, then, but not one to lift the spirits…

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