Euphoric electronicist goes banging, with mixed results
Nathan Fake’s debut, ‘Drowning In A Sea Of Love’, was a fusion of blissed-out shoegazing and electronica. Here, however, the 25-year-old breaks with both his old sound, and the crystalline minimalism of modern electronic music, to deliver six tracks of sweaty, avant-garde techno. The non-linear riffs – spooling, fractured and bruising – take precedence over the dry, hard beats, and ‘Hard Islands’ certainly has its demented peaks. Openers ‘The Turtle’ and ‘Basic Mountain’ sound like Aphex Twin exploring the limits of funk and melody in a late-’90s techno bunker. However, it is hard work. Ultimately, it lacks the variety or the startling sonic leaps that would make it essential. Interesting, but no cigar.