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The Land of Nod - Inducing the Sleep Sphere

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Artist: The Land of Nod

Album: Inducing the Sleep Sphere

Label: Ochre

Review date: Jun. 9, 2003

Hypnotic Magnetism


This outfit definitely has a scheme worked out for mixing hypnotic, clear guitar notes backed-up by dense textures, while the bass and drums keep things attached to the earth. It's somewhat reminiscent of Scenic and the sadly underrecognized Perplexa. Land of Nod do a terrific job combining bass and guitar, interlocking the strings into a constantly-evolving melodic bed. Some compare them with with Neu!, but I don't quite hear that; Popul Vuh is perhaps more on-target. The album also boasts interesting production, with the drums and bass much higher in the mix than one would expect for music like this, which gives the rhythms more prominence.

The opening track, "Half-Light," is a perfect introduction to the Land of Nod's methods it's based around beautiful guitar lines, hypnotically rhythmic and somehow geometrically natured. Clear, precise notes provide both melody and rhythm, while thick distorted textures fade ever so slowly up from the background. A more Krautrockian methodology inhabits "A Sequence of Speed." A beefy bass line locks in tight with the drums to create a metronomic foundation on which guitars and keyboards float and pulsate.

"Close to Conscious" takes on a more delicate feeling, based on classical-style guitar and simple, sustaining bass notes, while "Loose Contact" explores a dronier soundscape realm, with quiet, seemingly electronic rhythmic elements and an ocean's worth of deep rumbling sounds.

"Eddy" again gets into soundscape mode, with some collage elements such as French spoken word and marching crowd sounds dropped in, while the title track concludes the album with seven minutes of slow, purposeful work, perhaps the most Neu!-like track here.

Readers into the more motorik-inspired side of things shouldn't hesitate to pick this up, but a warning: while each song is somewhat unique, they are all rather static. Changes within each song are subtle, and there's not much of a feeling of resolution: a song starts, establishes its groove, and sticks with it until the end. Dynamic changes and concrete resolution are not prevalent in the Land of Nod. However, there are many well-constructed, often beautifully-layered songs that concentrate on hypnotic instrumental interplay.

By Mason Jones

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