Boomkat Product Review:
Nostro Hood System boss Galtier's debut album is a meticulously constructed byzantine club space opera. With 'Blade Runner' synths and jerky, neck-snapping rhythms, he's managed to squeeze contemporary club music's dystopian world-building into a taught, album-length offering without sacrificing any of the weight. Seriously elevated airlock club bizz.
Damn. The Mexico City imprint's first vinyl offering in three years, "Pulchra Es Elementis" (Elements Are Beautiful) is about as epic as club full-lengths get, painting sonic vistas that bring to mind Frank Herbert's "Dune" or Kathryn Bigelow's underrated "Strange Days". Bristol-based producer Jiah Wells is a talented engineer - he's been releasing hard-hitting club music for a decade - but the album is far more than a loose collection of tracks assembled to show off his Berlin-ready kicks and eardrum-scraping snares.
Tracks like the percussive 'Bruised, but Not Broken' and the album's weightless title track are so richly visual and so obviously sci-fi inspired that it's tough not to get lost daydreaming about a cinematic accompaniment. Wells has fashioned the record like a prog concept album, and plots a rigid narrative; it fails to follow the established club pattern of pneumatic banger, ambient interlude - rinse and repeat. Rather, tracks seem to appear from the walls and ceilings like xenomorphs in James Cameron's otherwise underwhelming "Aliens".
Wells tracks through club rhythms with ease, there's no defined mode to slip into - he retains a tuff-edged dembow influence throughout, but glides fluidly between sounds without repeating basic templates. The focus is the atmosphere, and that's never better photographed than on 'Cavernam', a track that oozes thru hard drum minimalism, buffing in Eski's skeletal brilliance and stopping for gas with neon-lit swung 4/4 intensity before it squeals to a halt. Wells keeps up the momentum until the very final moments of the album, ratcheting thru grim doomscapes on pacey closer 'Shine Forth' with clattering drums and squealing synths that sound like "Mad Max" scored by John Carpenter.
Fantastic album - RIYL SVBKVLT, Rabit, Akira OST, Slikback.