A seven year break between full length studio albums has left Joris Voorn fans, myself included, hungry for new material. Because Joris is such a quintessential figure across the deeper shades of electronic music, it was difficult to predict some centerpiece sound in his latest project. That being said, I began listening to Nobody Knows with an open mind for anything. What I found was a breathtaking marriage of electronica and instrumentation — full review after the jump.
“The Monk” quickly defeats the idea of an all-out, four to the floor techno album. Obscurely sampled percussion elements, guitar strumming and an ever-progressing melody of airy synths play nicely together. The ambiance achieved in this opening track sets the tone nicely for what is to come.
Kid A introduces herself in “A House” — my personal favorite cut from the album. An odd combination of ominous synth chords and raspy, romantic vocals somehow make one hell of a track. I dare you to find a better moment in this album than the crescendo peaks in this track.
“Homeland” introduces a collaboration with Matthew Dear. In terms of emotion, the lyrics evoke a blurred sense of despair. I found myself staring at the album art during this track, and I think the desert scene could serves as a great visual representation for the picture Voorn paints through sound.
“The Wild” enlists the help of some clever vocal sampling as tech elements come creeping into the album. Chiming percussion provides an ethereal backdrop.
Voorn begins to delve into his more solely instrument-driven tracks with “Sweets For Piano.” I can’t stress enough how much emotion is conveyed through these simple melodies delivered by blending piano, saxophone, trumpet, and electronic elements.
Kid A returns for “So Long” — a sweet and endearing love song that plays at the heartstrings with the repeated title vocals “so long.” Definitely a close second favorite track for me, as the vocal work from Kid A is as unique as it is stunning.
The next track, “Ringo,” was actually released as a single in 2013. It received great critical acclaim, and the official video was released by Thump. Melodic techno is how i would best describe it, and I would place “Mugged” right alongside it.
“MoMo,” “Fall” and “Left” are all well constructed soundscapes, which at time lend themselves to tech percussion styles. I felt these tracks we’re the most obscure cuts from “Nobody Knows,” as even my fourth and fifth times through I had to keep going back and reminding myself which track I was listening to. I mean this as no critique, but as a testament to how well each track leads into the next.
Finally, “Dust” closes us out. This collaboration with Bram Stadhouders has melody that I found myself humming throughout my day. For the past three weeks. There’s something wholesome and “end-credits-rolling” about this track and I’m so glad it’s the closer.
Listen to the Pete Tong exclusive broadcast of “Homeland” feat. Matthew Dear and “A House” feat. Kid A below and buy Nobody Knows on iTunes
01. The Monk
02. A House feat. Kid A
03. Homeland feat. Matthew Dear
04. The Wild
05. Sweets For Piano
06. So Long feat. Kid A
12. Dust feat. Bram Stadhouders