Boomkat Product Review:
Extraordinary, wave-shaped, polyglot marvels by France’s Nina Harker; setting french, german, japanese, spanish, and greek language vocals to a wild garden of styles - a must check for fans of Liaisons Dangereuses/CHBB, Hype Williams, Die Tödliche Doris, Saâda Bonaire, Cobra Killer, Lolina, Sterolab - basically just the sickest.
Free as fuck in the most beguiling sense, Harker’s eponymous debut LP is reissued to sate demand, as its cult appeal has only increased since a long sold out (and impossible to find) 2017 tape edition and an elusive issue on wax last year. It’s an unfathomable album that spills over at the edges with a vital but unhurried sense of invention that’s hard to ignore and refuses to be boxed off, persistently gnawing at the edges of styles loosely associated with synth-pop, free folk, janky NDW, off-kilter new age, Rebetika, and communal psych jams. It’s a real low-key pleasure to follow them navigating their way thru the lo-fi forests of their style, ever prone to veer off at unpredictable angles down a warren of rabbit holes.
Inception-like in its oneiric logic, you never quite know where this one’s going, even with repeat listens. Avoiding any flash tricks, they operate by sleight of hand and sensitive atmospheric sorcery, setting such a rich mise-en-scene that their hallucination feels tangibly surreal and immersive. Passages of discordant janky keys and free wheeze in ‘kanál’ lure us into a world of suggestive signposts and oblique crankiness, measured between blocky blown out industrial drums a la Tara Cross on ‘Füsse’ to the exquisite synth wow and flutter of ‘l’affreuse’ recalling classic Hype Williams, and from groggy Vincent Gallo-esque Rebetika in ‘το κορίτσι γαβγίζει’ to electro-acoustic plucks of ‘gardo’, with a puckered narrative quality that ultimately leads into effervescent drum machines and hypnagogic chanson surely recognisable by fans of that cult Oï Les Ox album or anyone hoping to stumble into some imaginary, newly unearthed Liaisons Dangereuses/CHBB missile, and ending with the Cobra Killer-esque neon fuzz of 'du schaffst es nicht’.
Crazy record, more pls.