1-2 Weeks

LI 014CD LI 014CD

Selected draws upon Tbilisi, Georgia-based Nikakoi's first two albums, but it's not a complete reissue. Instead, Nika Machaidze aka Nikakoi has gathered nine tracks from Sestrichka, 11 from Sentimental and 10 all-new recordings. All 30 tracks have been completely re-sequenced, shuffling old with new to create a hybrid album that's far more than the sum of its parts. Over two and a quarter hours long, Selected is a treasure trove, amazingly rich and varied, of almost cinematic proportions. Appropriately for an artist who also directs and edits film and video, on Selected the forces of chance and sentiment play out in a widescreen panorama of chaos-skirting rhythms and heartstring-tugging melodies. There are ample traces of '90s electronica and IDM in Nikakoi's skittering rhythms and melancholic refrains, but it's not mere redux. Tracks like "Krasnagorsky Dream" and "PP" treat the styles established early in their careers by Aphex Twin and Autechre as a kind of folk idiom with infinite potential... rather than bound by the anxiety of influence, they're bursting with innocence and, yes, sincerity. There are moments of unbridled rhythmic and textural experimentation, like the new "HACPYBYXO," which somehow manages to sound soothing despite its punishing, quadruple-time arpeggios. Dub enters the picture on tracks like "Undine 2" and "Minimsss 3," which recall the fluid grooves and expansive sonics of artists like Pole and Burnt Friedman. Tweaked breakbeats and lounge instrumentation drive the '60s-inspired "Surup," while "Cverty 2 For May" is a slow-mo take on minimal techno at its most velvety. And finally, there are the many moments of understated electronic-pop genius: "Tin Soldier For Nika Ono," "City Lights [Tutta 2]," "Petja," "Sentimental" and "Nishan3test," all of them bittersweet and starry-eyed, teenage dreams burnished by the years to a dull shine. Nikakoi is truly a softy at heart, but his music is as complex as any human emotion: both sentimental and sedimentary, Selected is like an architectural survey for a planet where the soil itself is composed of microscopic fragments of memory.