Sunday 9 September 2012

Nadine Carina - Little Bits EP

EP review by KevW

Given the fragmented, experimental and sporadically strange nature of the sounds and samples and collages that make up this new EP by Swiss-born artist Nadine Carina, she's picked the perfect title in 'Little Bits'. Deliberately taking a different approach to that of her previous work, Carina chose to stitch these sounds together in a makeshift bedroom studio using such unusual instruments and sound effects as a loop station, MIDI keyboard, folding ruler and, um, her cat who can be heard ushering in and then bidding farewell to the drifting, vocal based track 'As I Open The Window', which sounds like a cross between something from The Clangers and some kind of Radiophonic Workshop experiment. The tinkling 'Paradise' begins as an alt-folk track before various improvised noises filter their way into the mix (possibly including pens and wrenches, two other "instruments" that are used on the album. We're pretty sure there's some cutlery involved too).

So 'Little Bits' does include everything, quite likely including the kitchen sink. The demo-like 'A Different Face Everyday' sounds like the beginning of what could become a reasonably normal tune, but the cheap electronic beats and warped vocal ending put paid to that idea. A collaboration with producer Gated called 'Storm/Calm' does resemble what you could describe as a song, yet it manages to do so in a buckled, messed up way, but is all the better for it. In fact the EP as a whole, although wilfully obtuse, never strays into the quirky territory and never tries to tell us just how wacky and crazy it is. This isn't messing around for the sake of a reaction, this is genuine experimenting with unorthodox sounds to look for different ways of composing and recording music and because of this it's an interesting and enjoyable listen, and, one hopes, the start of a new phase in Nadine Carina's musical journey.

Nadine Carina's website

Stream or download the album

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