— Pitchfork (@pitchfork) May 12, 2016
NNA is proud to be the home for the latest full length album from Baltimore, Maryland electronic artist Nerftoss, aka John Jones (also of the group Dope Body). Fans of Nerftoss’s previous output can expect the same lush, nuanced sound environments that Jones so expertly crafts, but this time in a more dance-driven, club-friendly setting that pays homage to, while also creatively advancing, the essence of house music.
On “Crushed”, Jones creates a colorful and driving set of house-inspired vignettes that flow together effortlessly, providing respites along the way in the form of warped ambient electronic segues that allow the listener to recalibrate before the ecstatic four-on-the-floor rhythms transport you back to the dancefloor. Nerftoss utilizes a healthy dose of dreamy yet off-kilter plunderphonic sampling techniques that align with fellow Baltimore-based electronic music contemporaries (and NNA alumni) such as Co La and PHORK, but integrated into the jazzy melodic chords and metronomic rhythms that are classically associated with house music.
What makes these tracks especially unique, however, is the sampling of live acoustic percussion (drum kits, maracas, congas, bells, and so on) in conjunction with the traditional electronic drum machines of techno to comprise the dynamic beats. When these hybrid breakbeats are combined with the thick, deep melodic bass lines, the results are extremely powerful, intricate rhythms that create an auditory all-city block party, commanding the human body to move with the music. Cascading drum rolls, Latin rhythms, and funky shakers all dance in unison with the swirling, psychedelic textures and pounding bass kicks, creating a parade of global thump between your ears. The steamy ambient passages are used to alter the mood, but the lack of silence between tracks gives the album a continuous “megamix” tempo, as if you’re listening to the artist DJ-ing his own tracks live in the club. All of these elements together make “Crushed” not only a refreshing and progressive listen, but also a blissful bouquet of melody, texture, dynamics, layering, and fidelity that is the definitive signature of a talented producer’s chops.
Cassette comes packaged with digital download coupon.