Ambient soul is how Nudge describes their music on MySpace; an odd combination initially difficult to comprehend. But add two additional descriptors, experimental and shoegaze, and one can begin to piece together the eccentric music Nudge makes. Their latest, As Good As Gone, capitalizes on all four defining terms in songs like the epically smooth “Two Hands” and the trippy “Burns Blue”.
As one would expect from ambient music, tracks like “Aurolac” and “Tito” are soothing, with melodic guitars, minimal but eclectic percussion, and consistent soulful beats. “Burns Blue” adds indecipherable vocals, laid out upon a drone-ridden backdrop of subtle, atmospheric guitar. These are sounds that alter perceptions and distort realities, painting obscure pictures in the subconscious.
While several of the more recent Kranky Records releases lean toward early German Electronic influences, I don’t hear as strong an influence of that here — Greg Davis and Gregg Kowalsky had inklings of Klaus Schulze. Yet these songs are, in their own right, reminiscent of that era, and they maintain a certain modern affinity that both Kranky and early electronic music has aligned itself with — Nudge creates music well ahead of its time.
Nudge: Two Hands [mp3]
Nudge: Burns Blue [mp3]
Kranky Records [CD, 2009]
2. Two Hands
6. Burns Blue
7. Dawn Comes Light