AGUIRRE records

NINA HARKER - s/t LP

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Freeform, pigeon-hole dodging, stylistic merry-go-round, restless, weird and addictive - the long anticipated return of Nina Harker!

Three years in the works since their self-titled 2020 debut, we’re just about ready. Similar in vein to its polyglot predecessor, we’re deep into an extremely skewed trip to the unknown. The duo’s chameleon-like musical world never misses an opportunity to shred it’s skin and reappear as something totally unexpected. Apolline’s beautifully exposed, day-dreaming vocals on opener ‘Le Pont à Voiles’ cut deep, setting up a false sense of security before things take a dive into the underneath - stuttering synths and garbled vocals brace an eerie up-right piano solo and agitated spoken / electronics piece. The sheer lack of cohesion and total disregard for an attempt at *flow* adds a tangible sense of surrealism. But it’s no amateurish prank or way of disguising technical flaws - it’s clear these musicians can play, and there’s a strong feeling of intent.

The folkier moments, when they do decide to glisten through the gunk, are captivating and otherworldly, whereas the indifferent vocals and brittle drum machine tilt of ‘Hin Und Her’ or quivering electronics of ‘ë’ could easily be misplaced for an 80’s tape piece from Vox Populi!. Add in a drop of the unhinged weirdness of early Beate Bartel / CHBB, or scratchy Siltbreeze almost-songs and the collage-aesthetic of Enhet För Fri Musik and it’s clear we have something special in our hands. In an age of unashamed pastiche, it’s so nice, almost REFRESHING, to be properly tangled up in something so genuinely other and intoxicating.