earthly delights archive
The primary vehicle for post-industrial pioneer Nigel Ayers, Nocturnal Emissions has been one of the most subversively audacious acts to emerge from the British underground in the past twenty years. Never running low on inventiveness, this new work completely lives up to Ayers’ long established reputation.
When absorbed as a whole, Omphalos! is rather cryptic and fragmented, clearly not the sort of album easily disposed of into a single category of expression. Many pieces expand with the gradual modification of sampled loops, often being that of a contrasting nature. Ludd’s Measure for instance begins as a subdued landscape of noise enlarged by the echoing of mechanized factory rhythms sewn together by crestfallen samplings of neoclassical stringed instruments. Arbor Low and the title cut both introduce and anachronistic rock drum pattern midway through each drowning out the various layers of loops. Another element to blindside expectations is the dissonace of Devil’s Mill, roaring like a dysfunctional amusement park ride as it screeches to an abrupt halt. Rounding things out are the volcanic tremors of Yggrasil and the heavily distorted avant-garde belching of Helman Tor.
Without adherence to established formulas or any level of predictability, Nigel Ayers succeed where others continue to fail. Laudible for its chameleon properties, Omphalos! is recommended for adventurous minds craving something more than mere window dressing to add to their music library.
Adam M. Bialek