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Boomkat Product Review:
Really good this! Influenced by an interest in rave culture and queer theory, keyboardist and producer Dan Nicholls sublimes solo piano loops and field recordings into chirping loops that end up sounding like Colleen or Susumu Yokota.
Just when we thought we'd heard everything solo piano, Dan Nicholls brings something a little different. The component parts of 'Mattering and Meaning' are familiar, but the way Nicholls puts them together is stunning in its simplicity. Starting with field recordings and jazzy improvisations on an acoustic piano, Nicholls recorded these elements to his phone and layered them as if the piano was just a part of the soundscape. It's this non-hierarchal examination of the piano that makes it so interesting - instead of being in thrall, Nicholls sculpts the instrument into hazy riffs and themes that echo dance music without seeking to recreate it.
This warts-and-all process is madly enjoyable: wrong notes and tuning slips become part of the texture, and room tones, voices and key scrapes become as much a part of the composition as the notes themselves. It's like hearing someone play piano in a dream or a distant memory, but free of the usual tropes. We're sold.