Album of the Week: Nathan Fake – Providence

Noisy yet subtle, Nathan Fake’s return to the LP format is immediate and poignant. After an extensive  hiatus that saw the artist’s last album, Stream Days released five years ago, Providence marks a significant point in the artist’s career. It comes via Ninja Tune no less, a label that has brought made quite a significant footprint in our record collection at Jæger, and carries on in that label’s tradition of bringing different perspectives to the dance floor.

Swirling synthetics and dramatic arrangements make bold statements on Fake’s fourth studio album. Stepping completely back from any purposeful functionality and embracing an eccentric electronic palette that breaks from any traditional means. Fake focusses on a textural arrangement, layering parts upon parts to create  intense claustrophobic pieces of uncanny beauty. Fully composed, Providence sounds like a lifetime’s worth of work channeled into a mere instant of time.

Unnerving at times, but often sweet the album features a very distinct electronic palette of detuned synths and odd harmonic tones that avoid instant obvious melodic arrangements for a more oppressive and direct sound. Fake doesn’t placate his listeners and indulges in a catastrophic maelstrom of noise, organised into definitive compositions. An electronic baroque album of sorts, Providence only bears rewards for the patient listener, and when Fake indulges a single-like arrangement, like on the RVK everything falls into its right place.