Outer Space Radio Jams: Nosaj Thing’s Outstanding NO REALITY

The new EP from Nosaj Thing is another stellar exercise in finely crafted electronic music.
By    April 28, 2016


Chris Daly was the first choice to play MJ in Space Jam.

Your mileage may vary, but there’s no such thing as a bad Nosaj Thing album.  They’re complex, dense, layered beasts that take multiple listens to fully digest; that’s never a bad thing.  On his latest EP, NO REALITY, out now on the Innovative Leisure label, Nosaj—aka Jason Chung—makes a strong bid as the heir apparent to Vangelis.  Somebody needs to set up a meeting between NT and Ridley Scott while this new Blade Runner is in the works, because NO REALITY goes a long way to prove that Nosaj is the only logical choice for soundtrack duties.

Each of the five tracks on the not-quite-20-minute outing are a completely different trek down different rabbit holes and various looking glasses, though all seem to take place in that weird place in-between sleep and awakening.  Opener “NR1” is a ghostly affair, imbued with synths that are somehow simultaneously stark and subdued, over skittering percussion and ambient noise.  “NR2” starts in a similar vein before the BPM kick up a notch, resulting in a molly-fueled dancefloor exercise.

“NR3” (see how this works?) adds vocal snippets and jangled percussion samples to occasional static outbursts in what is the closest thing to a “radio friendly” track as Nosaj tends to get; meaning as long as you’re listening to interplanetary DJs from other solar systems, you could well find this track in that line-up.  Just don’t look to your local terrestrial radio station for these outer space jams.  “NR4” starts with a repetitive beat before transforming into something melodic right around the two minute mark.  To close things out, “NR5” employs a stuttering structure, some more of those aforementioned vocal snippets and strong drum sequencing to return to a similar, dreamlike state-of-mind found on “NR1,” but thematically, it maintains the same type of vibe NO REALITY perfects throughout the entire EP.

The Beat scene prodigy is in rare form here, leading me to believe that he’s found the answer to whether or not androids dream of electric sheep.  Replicants beware.

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