Keywords: Alternative, Indie, Electronic, Experimental, Folk
Reviewer: Alex Spalding
Psst. Hey, you. Yeah, you. Wanna read a review?
Yeah, we’ve got the good stuff. Check it out… this one’s a review for Naimi’s Paddmusik. It even comes with an interview… that’s two ‘views for the price of one. A ‘view within a ‘view, ya dig?
Oh, you wanna read it? Alright… but, only for a sec… time is money. Here it is…
Hello! Welcome to another review at YIKIS. It’s a very reviewy review, full of reviewishness! There’s no other way for me to introduce a review like this, so I’ll just tell you quickly that it’s for a really cool album by Naimi and, as part of the review, I put together a quick interview! I had all kinds of questions burning holes in my thinking equipment that I’m going to have to repair later…
Alex: In the description for this album you mention that all of the music was made using an ipad! I found that quite incredible while listening and wanted to ask what your opinions on the use of modern technology and music were. For instance, do you feel that the ipad has become all you really need to do what you want or do you feel like you were taking a path of least resistance to creating your dreams?
Naimi: I just think it was very fun and simple to do music in the Ipad, I think I can do more stuff when it’s simple sometimes, you don’t get any performance anxiety then. I like lo-fi, and with the Ipad it’s like lo-fi but it sounds more like hi-fi. It’s like modern kind of lo-fi.
Alex: I really think you’re right about modern electronics like the ipad definitely having a sort of rough, lo-fi character, digital things can feel that way… what are some of your musical influences with this project?
Naimi: I can’t think of any influences, I’m just expressing my feelings.
Alex: What kind of feelings did you put into this album?
Naimi: Hmm, feelings in Paddmusik, yeah, it was a lot of feelings of longing for love, frustration, little bit of happiness.
Alex: How long have you been creating musical arts?
Naimi: Since 1998, but when I was like 10 years old I did some songs, and when I was 15 too, but 1998 I started to do music more seriously, it was then I took the artist name Naimi. When I was 15 I did a few guitar songs.
Alex: It’s always interesting to hear when someone’s been doing music that long! What kind of music were you making when you were 10 and 15? Electronic music?
Naimi: Yeah when I was 10 I was doing music with my synth, you can listen here.
Alex: Do you play live?
Naimi: Yes, sometimes, but not so often, because I get so nervous and get anxiety.
Alex: What was the inspiration for this album?
Naimi: My life, my longing for love, and to discover garage band in my Ipad.
Having given a cursory ear to a couple of tracks from the album before embarking on my mission to review it more fully, I was struck by many feelings myself, so now I will explore all of these in depth with a more thorough, track-by-track analysis…
… the first piece is titled ‘Fuck You DSM’. The DSM is an official diagnostic manual detailing every known mental disorder and re-published with new ones rather frequently. It’s a very thick book that I’m sure serves pretty well in the function of bathroom reader. Whether it’s a useful tool in the diagnosis of real disorders, a manual of mental and behavioral tendencies that professional psychologists merely categorize as illnesses, a little of both, or just a lot of ink filling several hundred pages who cares, is a fairly grey area with heavy opinions on all sides. I personally found its prose a bit dry, with none of the wit or charm I’d hoped for. Thankfully, there is plenty of charm to be found in the sound of this track, with a funky break, up & down bassline arp as well as awesome vocals, very modern minimal electro style.
Everything feels a little more jazzy now with a playful-yet-melancholic piano and pulse-centric electrorhythm pattern on ‘Zopiklon Here I Come’. It makes me want to lounge in a chair in an empty loft and dream about painting or making coffee or the decor potential of the room I’m occupying, but feeling too relaxed to actually do anything yet.
The third track, ‘I Want Love’, fills my head with visions of an alternate dimension in which Kraftwerk is replaced by an army of Naimis clutching ipads…
… ok, now I’m reminded of a joke from a previous review, but still. There’s a slow-motion electro beat, lovely melodic synths, endearing vocals about seeking love in the world. I really love the electro conga/tom patterns! While listening I think to myself, this is very likely going to be the candidate for my favourite track on the album, but it’s too early into the album to tell for sure.
There are some wild sounds happening on ‘Förnedringen’, feeling like skipping dust scratches, sickly synth chords and wailing! And yet, it’s even better than it sounds just from my description alone. It’s like a minimal electro soundtrack for a film about poltergeists, a subtle theremin-tone adds a perfect touch.
‘It May Be A Dream’ mixes up the palette of sounds a bit, featuring acoustic guitar, a simple drum pattern, a really nice soft synth lead and vocals. In several parts it sounds to me like something I could imagine having heard played on a college’s alternative pop radio station that would undoubtedly have perfectly fit whatever mood of contemplation I was in at that exact moment and I would have spent years of my life wondering what it was, only remembering how it sounded in a general sense, but never forgetting it. Electronic folk music, I’m enjoying the simple song structure and melody of it.
After that is ‘Sömniös På Söder’, with a simple kick drum, electric piano chords, vocals… I’m really loving this track. I think it could be my personal favourite so far, actually. The music here reminds me of the kind of songcraft of Shogo Sakai for the game Mother 3, very focused and elegant sound use and arrangements, and then the vocals with their emotional content add a dimension to it all that I really enjoyed a lot. Very pure music.
Then it’s ‘Kupan’, an electronic bass pulse, flute sample melody, a synth sequence. Very pleasant harmonic and melodic components, with really nice sounding synth tones that swell up into the mix for awhile.
‘Blackan At Night’ breaks out another minimally funky groove. There’s some nice piano chord overlay, but this track is all about the synth lead sequences… so nice
The final track is titled ‘Mystiko’. It has a simple bass throb at the beginning, but adds strings, then a low-volume sawtooth bass grumble, some sporadic claps. Even further in there is a cool synth arpeggio sequence, someplace between a bass and a bell. Then, a change-up, in which the groove slows, gliding into a morose 3/4 swing for a few measures. It’s probably the overall most grim piece here, like an electronic ode to ghouls who dance in ballrooms.
So whaddya think of the review? I let you try it before you buy it, so it’s time to show me the money…
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