Nedry are evolving trip hop in an enticing fashion.
Mike Diver 2010
Initially very striking, Nedry’s debut soon reveals several influences that sit close to its surface.
This is a collection that echoes a period of the not-so-distant past when slow beats and ethereal vocals were a pairing almost guaranteed to garner a four-star rating in the monthlies. The London-based three-piece – Matt Parker and Chris Amblin on glitches and glides, electro-percussion and pitch control, and Ayu Okakita on vocals; their name is seemingly sourced from Jurassic Park antagonist Dennis Nedry – channel the spirits of Lamb, Portishead and Alpha into a package bearing a modern twist courtesy of some blunted, Caspa-style low-end. These dubstep-y interventions splutter rather than skitter, their reach deep and their touch bruising.
Also present are elements taken from the underground, over, by 65daysofstatic – the general IDM-indebted twitchiness and occasional instances of raucous guitar (Scattered, for example). But like 65days, Nedry are not simply a post-rock band that’s invested in a laptop; their arrangements sound as if they’ve gestated within machines, the trio teasing them into shape by using traditional instrumentation to carve detail, rather than comprise key cornerstones for the eventual whole. If you’ve heard worriedaboutsatan, you’ll feel immediately at home.
If the above reads like a precursor to a conclusion of indifference, then apologies: you’ve been misled. While Condors isn’t backwards in presenting to the fore its makers’ favourite artists, it’s an album that features much to recommend it. The songs are well-layered, the constituent tracks – picture a busy, Tetris-like Logic Pro screen – balanced and blended so that nothing seems shoehorned into the equation. Okakita’s vocals can be mesmerising, in the vein of Blonde Redhead’s Kazu Makino, and on Squid Cat Battle and Where the Dead Birds Go there’s a tangible menace at play – genre-typical melancholy substituted for preferable malevolence.
Album opener A42 is really impressive – its cascading beats eventually settle to a relative stillness, the break in the piece acting as the storm-eye calm before a resumption of thunderous bass. Set your stereo’s equaliser the right way and it’ll take seconds for the neighbours to come complaining. Apples & Pears sets out at a gentler pace, but once it cuts loose the rumbles are tumultuous enough to test the most expensive of amplifiers. This contrast proves Condor’s core characteristic: the delicate is always threatened by the destructive.
Reinventing a genre they’re not, but Nedry are certainly evolving trip hop in an enticing fashion.