A new offering from the legendary Downwards label – the debut album from new-crew ‘Nonexistent’, consisting of Luke Murray (latest NoCorner signing / Industrial Coast stalwart), Astrud Steehouder and Alex Tucker.

Close to 30 years of boundary pushing, timeless output from Birmingham’s Downwards imprint, which was founded in 1993 by Regis and Female, in close connection with fellow Brum techno legend Surgeon, and Napalm Death maverick Mick Harris, it’s great to see the label go from strength to strength, and continue to provide solid sounds for generations to come.
This album from Nonexistent draws on a dark ambient sound conjured up via the classic Prophet 8 synth, in flux with field recordings, abstracted samples and cello / voice, put together in fluid formation between the three artists making up the Nonexistent palette, and it does so in a highly intriguing, ‘take you there’ kind of way. A masterful piece of escapism via sound, a real re-tuning of the synapses, one that can be enjoyed at various volumes and settings – we could imagine this booming through Berlin’s Kraftwerk halls as much as it would sound great played from a dimly lit corner of a basement somewhere.

Subtle shifts and meditative frequencies collide with filtered lifeforms of sound on this one – with the organic, haptic nature of instrumentation played by hand and the subtle abstractions of voice and cello, along with the airy, almost lithe reverberations of the recordings, there’s an earthly feel to it all, but the near-subonscious hum of ground noise and syncopation of electric currents in modulation keep it somewhat alien, and otherworldly – like a spirit in passing, through our own reality, at night, when most lights are turned off and the world is asleep.

Don’t take our word for it though, listen for yourself, and feed these infos from the source into your understanding, and it might all make sense:

“Long-standing friends Astrud Steehouder and Alex Tucker planned to collaborate for many years, and in 2020 they finally found the time to start sharing files with the aim of making long form drone pieces. As the project progressed they enlisted Manchester producer Luke J Murray in to the fold. The tracks started to detour from their original intention towards a hybrid zone, built around Steehouder’s extended Prophet 8 improvisations, Tucker’s modular processed cello, voice and tapes and Luke J Murray’s sampled electronics. These components started to weave between a world of drones, cut-up electronics and damaged samples. Tucker says “we had this idea of discovering a hard-drive or device that was rusted and rotted but still functioning, the information within it containing corrupted or scrambled audio that had rearranged itself into new forms.”

The trio – all residents of North East London – draw upon the combination of urban sprawl, reservoirs, woodlands, and industrial history that rubs up against each other in the area, exposing the layers of the past and present. This translates in the multi layered textures that make up NONEXISTENT’s self-titled debut, drawing upon the ancient, the modern and the spaces between. Recorded in their respective corners of Walthamstow and constructed and produced at Tucker’s Liquid Window studio.”

… You could do much, much worse than letting this record soundtrack your dark winter days, and resorting to it as your mind-drift, away from this world from time to time, when it calls.

Edition of 300,
Recorded at Liquid Window and Glass Dome Studios Walthamstow, London Mastered by Rashad Becker at Clunk Studio.

TRACKLIST:
SIDE A
1. Termninal Starfall (5:43)
2. October Mission (6:19)
3. Auburn Vacuum (4:30)
4. Attachment Areas (3:34)
SIDE B
5. Deepening Ground (6:13)
6. Dedicated Tear (2:35)
7. Raising Ocean (4:29)
8. Skeleton Scars (1:33)
9. Cold Walls (3:13)

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