Nebuchadnezzar – ‘Nebuchadnezzar’ EP (Centrovisione) [April 12, 2021]

Newly emerging Italian label Centrovisione offers a master-class in controlled chaos with Nebuchadnezzar’s new self-titled EP.

Very rarely will a relatively unknown label enter the arena with releases that resemble those of some of the most seasoned veterans in a genre, but Italy’s own Centrovisione manages to achieve just that. If techno sometimes feels too fast or overwhelming for you, chances are the newly released ‘Nebuchadnezzar’ EP won’t be your cup of tea. With tempos bordering on those of Psytrance, this short but sweet self-titled EP by Nebuchadnezzar packs a serious punch and promises a plethora of quality productions to come.

The first track, titled ‘Affair in Ammonia Bath’, comes storming in at a staggering 167 beats per minute and never relents. The syncopated kick drum, frantic hi-hats and shakers, all work in unison to create a disorienting sense of urgency that artfully juxtapose the long reverb tails, occasional Italian vocal samples and spatial effects that fill in the very few instances of empty space that exist in this record. Imagine rinsing a typical dance record intended to be played at 33 rpm, but instead at 45 rpm, and you will begin to imagine the feel and flow of this sound. Yet you wouldn’t want to hear it played any slower, as the unusually fast pace creates a rhythmically dense and rich composition that is as danceable as it is cerebral.

The true highlight of this release, however, is the second and final track ‘E236ml D207’. Though this piece is slightly slower than the first, you wouldn’t likely perceive it as such, as it is filled to the brim with fast paced percussive textures and fills that will instantly suck the air right out of the room, in a good way. The cacophony of “Pew-Pew” sound effects and triplet thumps make their way up, down, and all around, utilizing the broadest stereo width possible. Imagine Aphex Twin’s ‘afx237 v7’ (the track used in the iconic Rubber Johnny music video) had a lovechild with techno purists like Luke Slater or Talismann, and maybe you could mentally prepare yourself for the rhythmical onslaught that makes this track. Even the two titles share a similar cryptic mystique, further lending to this theory. That said, very little can be truly known, let alone inferred about this label, artist, and what fuels them, as their online presence is quite limited and only recently beginning to emerge. But sometimes knowing less about who or what made a piece of art can elevate the experience of the observer, especially in electronic music, and ever more so in techno.

Though Nebuchadnezzar deserves much praise for his quality output, it’s not so much about who made the incredible techno record in this genre, rather, what really matters is that it simply exists for the world to discover and enjoy. Commoditization is the antithesis of what techno is and has always intended to be, as a radical musical diaspora. One of the few pieces of information presented on the label’s bandcamp, simply stating “Fuck Corporations”, perfectly encapsulates this sentiment, while providing us with just enough of a narrative to adequately make out their artistic direction.

While its complexity and precision are both engaging and inspiring, the EP simultaneously leaves the listener feeling claustrophobic, like you’re trapped in somebody else’s car during an unrelenting hailstorm. Trouble, danger, and yet so exhilarating! Though it seems that for now we only have two short releases to enjoy from this newly emerging imprint, hopefully we can expect more masterful works from Nebuchadnezzar and Centrovisione in the near future.

– Jeronimo Watson

Check out this release on bandcamp

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