Germane to the album’s title, the tape warble demonstration on opener “IAMSYS” feels strangely quaint and unreal, as if staged for the audience’s amusement. It quickly gives way to playfully plodding drums and angelic vocals like a chopped-and-screwed Cocteau Twins. Curious yet claustrophobic, Lapalux’s transfixing Brainfeeder full-length will indulge with its beauteous unease.
An ethereal R&B record overindulging on the ether, Nostalchic curls up at the feet and slowly burrows into the body. With a late night physicality, Stuart Howard’s agnostic electronica ambivalently shrugs at genre. From the uplifting Cologne house of “Swallowing Smoke” to the finger snapping glitchy groove of “Straight Over My Head”, sumptuous atmospheres and damaging digits collide for breathtaking, quivering results.
Vocals, credited and otherwise, enliven the album even when it veers towards creepiness. Truly extraordinary, “Without You” pairs Howard with singer Kerry Latham for a dazzlingly sluggish codeine quiet storm that both chills and chills out. “Guuurl” and “Flower” approximate that experience to somewhat lesser effect, though the almost conventional “One Thing” skews in the opposite direction, calling to mind The Weeknd’s ghostliness via Jenna Andrews’ layered, breathy voice.
A narcotic fever dream of sexual longing, Nostalchic is Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas with Prince at the wheel, a red convertible traveling through a surrounding desert that’s equally engulfing and inviting. At long last, Burial has someone giving him a run for his money.