N.213 // Nikki Never - REJECTAMENTA [Cassette]
Deep drum-machine underground from this unique collab. between Vancouver's N. 213 and Nikki Never. Limited to 50 copies.
This edition of 50 from Nic Hughes’ (of the Shearing Pinx) solo project features voice and “bonus synth” by the enigmatic Nikki Never (Terror Bird). More sprightly and pared down than last fall’s Sungod Arena, Rejectamenta sets out a continuously disorienting tonal pattern over its 19 song miniatures. At base, wirey drum-machines vary between clipped,Nommos-esque time-keeping and fitful, post-industrial anti-grooves. Anxious melodic content is served by the uncanny tracing of disaffected vocals around bleary-eyed sub-dance Casio tones.
The claustrophobia of the formula enables an auto-song style that signals N.213’s heritage in the Messthetics series and the whole UK DIY cassette movement more generally. That isn’t to claim the tape is a retro-revivalist project. Though Hughes channels contemporary electronic music, those tones are run through the same warped Xerox-machine with which he makes all the Isolated Now Waves art. The result recreates the seductive danger of the formative, underground period of dance.
Even on the four Nikki Never-helmed tunes, the most tuneful and club-worthy, her forlorn contributions won’t lift any spirits. Despite, say, the hummable melody to “Nightstalker,” the lyrics recall darker themes. If anyone anywhere is cutting a rug to Rejectamenta, it’d be Sergent Galoup in that neverworld discothèque. The rhythm of the night, sure, but it’s one cold, lonely night.