Album Review

NoFi Rainbow Vol. 1

NoFi Rainbow Vol. 1

by Various


End Of The Alphabet Records
9 / 10
31st October 2014

Reviewed by Chris Cudby


Wellington seems to have become a hothouse of experimental music cross-pollination, with open-minded venues like Pyramid Club, Moon 1, and Homies rapidly filling the gap caused by the recent 'venue-pocalypse' of bar closures. Another sign of good health is new Wellington-based label End Of The Alphabet Records’ debut compilation NoFi Rainbow, which provides an accessible view of the exploratory talent percolating in the bowl-like city. It's a confident opening salvo for the fledgling label, with eight tracks by a mix of emerging and established artists running from cracked electronic beat workouts, to celestial vocal drones, to wobbly ecstatic outsider-pop and beyond.

Mischancerie’s opening track 'Balcony' is a great intro, off-balance distorto-beats mixing with choppy synth and tantalising noise-snippets to create a mesmerising, slightly idyllic, and somehow quite catchy whole. Antony Milton’s sheer amplified drone work escalates continuously without ever crashing, generating sensations both enervating and meditative, while Oona Verse’s brilliant 'City Of Women Condensed' starts out like a visit from the Mysterons before busting loose into hi-NRG hypnagogic-disco, like an other-worldly Donna Summer. Free noise continuity is provided by The Dead C’s Bruce Russell & Peter Wright’s track (one of the non-Wellington contributions), a languidly clanging duo of tangled strings and busted pedals. Each track rewards exploration, Our Love Will Destroy The World (aka Campbell Kneale who contributed the fine cover artwork) provides a fittingly minimal closer to this well-curated compilation.

Throughout NoFi Rainbow there’s a distinct emphasis on texture, the artists generally eschew digital crispness for a more brittle or fuzzy feel. There’s a strong sense of depth and density - crucial elements bubble in the background to generate fractal-like surface ripples, which destabilise and recontextualise the whole. End Of The Alphabet Records looks to have an active schedule, with an album by Antony Milton out already. You’ll be hearing a lot more from EOTA, best get on the ground floor with NoFi Rainbow.







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