Bristol-based Deep Nalström follows up 2019`s Naive Melodies with a collection of cuts dating from 2017 to 2020. For Esoteric Fantasy, once again he`s teamed with friends and fellow travelers, the Berlin-based duo, Nummer. The new E.P. is released on their label, with Emmanuel Nummer both overdubbing FX and producing the final mix. Tracks such as the chilled electro of Rainbow Gardens – powered by 808 tick, click and boom – bear a strong similarity to Emmanuel`s recent E-Talking album on Going Good. Where the Jon Hassell-influenced Naive Melodies fused the ethnological with the technological, Esoteric Fantasy is far more electronic, less organic, than last time out. However, while the record spans a range of BPMs – be they chunky and chugging, or big thuds and thumps – there`s still something tribal about the beats.
At one end of Nalstrom`s sonic spectrum is Mother Of Energy’s short sitar mediation. At the other is Underworld Jaunt – which is full-on full-moon trance tackle. Analogue approximations of didgeridoos, dancing in an obsidian tunnel. A ritual of smashing snares and behemoth bass. In between there`s the carnival stomping and clapping of Perpetual Motion and the acidic ambience of Low Gravity Ride. A dose of dark, downtempo squelching, soaked in psychedelic sound-effects and fractal fizz. It`s a bit like Denial Of Service`s great Sensou track from a few years back – with muffled monastic harmonies replacing D.O.S.`s creepy, child-like voices. The standout for me though is Astral Variations. Where whispered subliminals swirl, surrounded by keys in intricate kalimba and kora-like patterns, for the amusement and entertainment of those in altered states. It`s stoned, trippy, and infringing on The Orb`s bass heavy, dub reggae inspired, inner space.
Deep Nalström`s Esoteric Fantasy is released today by Nummer Music.