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Cool Indie Electronics by Nomuzic and the Land of Guilt and Blarney

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NOMUZIC: Notes about the Man (DDL on Audiofile)

This release from 2014 features 70 minutes of dystrophic technopop.

Electronics and e-perc conspire with dire vocals to craft dark technopop designed to appeal to an unhappy audience.

The electronics tend to be peripheral to slippery keyboards that resound from a nocturnal source. At times the keys delineate layers of shimmering drones; at other times the keys express a ethereal fog that shimmers with a molten threat; while on another occasion the keys adopt an almost off-key shrill resonance that shudders with a graveyard attitude.

E-perc provides an often ponderous locomotion for these dire tunes. The beats are spry, the rhythms possessed of a clenched-jaw determination. Frequently there's a dirgelike touch to the beats.

Echoey vocals croon out lyrics expressing the sentiments of the disenfranchised, people trapped in isolation amid the crowd and seething with rage over their positions. In one track, a secondary vocal thread accompanies the lead voice with a subterranean timbre. Countering this, another song features squeaky childlike vocals.

Synthetic horns adorn one track with their mournful blaring.

These compositions explore a realm of darkside technopop dedicated to evoking churlish temperaments among the listeners. The tunes are often peppy and lively, but this agility is seasoned by a cynicism that goes beyond goth, deeply exploring a zone typified by a sneering antisocial demeanor.

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THE LAND OF GUILT AND BLARNEY: Mugged by Life (free DDL on Audiofile)

This release from 1992 features 59 minutes of enticing electronic music.

The Land of Guilt and Blarney is: Louis Boone (on keyboards, tone generator, effects, percussion, and bass) and Carl Howard (aka Nomuzic) (on keyboards, rhythms, effects, and toy guitar) with Reginald Taylor (on guitar on one track).

Frolicsome electronics conspire with nimble rhythms to generate lively tuneage of an eccentric nature.

Track one comprises a crunching percussion set with trumpet-like electronics blaring away lead riffs. A grinding pulsation slithers through the mix, as the synthetic horns undergo engaging variations that evolve into church organs, then later kyoto pluckings and beyond, finally settling down into a playful keyboard routine.

After the highly rhythmic demeanor of the prior song, the next piece adopts a more abstract character. The instruments seem to noodle about, exploring various expressions that never coalesce into a melody, but follow a sense of curiosity in their journey.

The third song returns to a melodic model, with chomping tempos and twanging pulsations that delineate a tune that moves from pensive to playful as things grow progressively more whimsical.

Track four features marching rhythms in tandem with thundering basslines, while keyboards produce sprightly melodies that cavort throughout the dire morass of drum and bass.

While these tracks are all long (averaging ten minutes in length), the last piece is twice as long, allowing the tune to mature and meandering through passages of pittering percussives and dinging oscillations, bongos competing with battered dishware and rattling sticks and bonging bells. Gradually, the beats begin to slide into a sort of erratic rhythm, but not one that persists. Constantly changing, the tempos establish a lasting bang fest whose rhythmic character maintains a quirky nature. The beats persist in varying, switching from conventional drum kits to household objects to gongs to wheezy flutes to xylophones to whistles...on and on. This freeform piece eventually takes on a ritualistic quality, culminating with an unexpected sudden fade-out.

Granted, the last track caters to eclectic tastes, but the other songs are thoroughly appealing in their sinuous agility and entrancing melodic definition.

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THE LAND OF GUILT AND BLARNEY: Cruel (free DDL on Audiofile)

This release from 2000 features 61 minutes of cool electronic music.

This time, The Land of Guilt and Blarney is: Louis Boone (on nasty synthesizers, wrongful saxophones, ungainly programming, and rage array) Carl Howard (aka Nomuzic) (on malicious synthesizers, hideous digital saxophones, rueful programming, and immoral attitude), Reginald Taylor (on filthy bass, vile synthesizers, and sickening programming), Blaise Siwula (on hateful saxophones), LG Mair Jr (on lascivious bass synthesizer), and Kenneth Brown (on detestable organic drums).

Here, the tuneage is more evenly spry and enticing, without diversions into sonic abstractions.

The electronics are agile and diverse. While keyboards are utilized to trigger a majority of the sounds, there also exist a definite tonal presence. While these aural textures establish a moody backdrop, the keys delineate threads of pulsating melody that bloop and throb and slither and twirl.

Percussion is vital to this tuneage, providing vibrant locomotion with albeit artificial rhythms. These tempos tease the electronic flow with their quirky beats, coaxing things into appealing motifs. In one instance, the rhythms adopt a twinkling delicacy and in nice contrast to the winsome electronics; while elsewhere grungy tempos accompany the electronics, nudging them into twirling patterns of almost hypnotic beauty.

The saxophone activity is tasty, lending the songs a unique demeanor among contemporary electronic music. Their cadence is often stark and shrill, establishing layers of seething energy amid the sea of beat-driven oscillations. On some occasions, the horns inject the tunes with a crazy jazz influence.

There's a vital bass presence going on that lends a durable bottom to things and often takes center stage in the form of keyboard driven riffs of guttural luster.

These compositions convey a distinct energized animation with their sultry melodies. The tunes are attractive despite the often harshness of the sounds employed in their creation.

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THE LAND OF GUILT AND BLARNEY: Unusual (free DDL on Audiofile)

This release from 2000 features 69 minutes of harsh electronic music.

This time, The Land of Guilt and Blarney is: Louis Boone (on synthesizers, programming, and rage array), Carl Howard (aka Nomuzic) (on synthesizers, digital saxophone, and programming), Reginald Taylor (on mystery bass and living hell) and Alan Rider (on history bass).

The mixture of aggressive synths, agro horns and percussion combines to deliver some tasty tuneage.

The electronics are often harsh and forceful, conjuring fields of nicely nasty pulsations. But there are also threads that exhibit more restrain, almost delicate temperaments; these tend to lurk in the shadows, fleshing things out with their lilt.

The horns are equally harsh and forceful, delivering blaring notes that slice the air with their strident cadence. Their structure can be somewhat chaotic, but in a crazy jazz manner, not an objectionable noise way. The crazy horns fit perfectly with the grinding electronics.

The drums provide steadfast rhythms to these songs. Sometimes the tempos are plodding, at other times they pitter with a degree of clockwork fragility.

The basslines contribute a strong bottom to the melodies, often hidden in the mix, but sometimes clear enough to discern with guttural clarity.

These compositions are entertaining and entrancing. The use of agro sounds to create frequently fluid tunes is novel and satisfying. In all fairness, not every song is a sonic assault; some embody a different, more subtle kind of tension through somber tones and chittery vibrations.

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