Nanocluster Vol 1


Nanocluster Vol 1 is an album with some serious pedigree. It sees Immersion (aka Malka Spigel and Colin Newman of influential groups Minimal Compact and Wire, respectively) collaborating with some of the finest left field artists of our era: Tarwater, Laetitia Sadier, Ulrich Schnauss, and Scanner. The project was born out of a Brighton based club night, also called Nanocluster, run by Spigel and Newman alongside writer, broadcaster and DJ Graham Duff, and promoter Andy Rossiter. The club features a range of influential and cutting-edge music acts. But the unique aspect of the evenings is that each show climaxes with a one-off collaboration between Immersion and the headliners.

Immersion and Tarwater: The German duo of Ronald Lippok and Bernd Jestram have created an impressive body of work. The opening instrumental "Ripples" is a gentle breathe of optimism, all purring tones and sun dazzled synths. Meanwhile, "Mrs. Wood" is a dubby psychedelic shuffle, Lippok's vocal cool and assured over a fat bass line and sky bound eastern melodics.

Immersion and Laetitia Sadier: An original and distinctive presence in contemporary music, Sadier made her name with the inimitable Stereolab, but she's also created several impressive solo works. The instrumental "Unclustered" sees Sadier's spidery guitar weaving through Immersion's lush web of synths drones. The following "Uncensored" has a subtle melodic tug with a classic Spigel guitar line underpinning Sadier's sweet yet worldly wise vocal. "Riding the Wave" is another feel good song, swapping between Newman's plaintive vocal, and Spigel's vocal and Sadier's backing vocals.

Immersion & Ulrich Schnauss: A highly respected solo artist, as well as being a member of Tangerine Dream, Schnauss' skill with electronics is legendary. The opening "Remember Those Days On The Road" skips along on a rimshot rhythm with Spigel's honeyed vocal telling a tale of life on tour. "Skylarks" opens with a lattice of arpeggios before a gently nagging guitar enters and everything takes a turn for the sublime. "So Much Green" is constantly spiraling urban-kosmisch, with Spigel's plangent bass anchoring the celestial sounds.

Immersion & Scanner: Scanner -- aka Robin Rimbaud -- is one of the most prolific and diverse artists currently working in contemporary music. "Cataliz" is the album's moodiest moment. With its serpentine synth drones it sounds like the soundtrack to a mysterious thriller. The rich pulsing "Metrosphere" recalls Immersion's early work whilst adding another layer of grainy uncertainty. The closing "The Mundane and the Profound" is a gentle and touching end to a unique collection of songs.

Nanocluster Vol 1 is a testament to a remarkable synergy between a diverse assembly of strongly individual talents.