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Nocturnal Emissions – Collateral Salvage

Label: Soleilmoon Format: CD

Collateral Salvage - sleeve detailThis is Nigel Ayers‘ twenty-fifth Nocturnal Emissions CD since 1979, and here he chooses to sample, loop and mutilate chunks of Indie guitar music and slam them up against the music of the Third World, old and new. The results are certainly funky, rolling on heavyweight grooves and beats with a deliberate Fourth World flavour, delving deep into the synthesis of Western Pop with Arab, Berber and other traditions, dialectical style, apparently inspired by a night in a Moroccan bathtub with the sounds of multiple nightspots outside swinging erratically to all points of the musical and cultural compass.

In case anyone didn’t get the hint in the title, Ayers is not big on the Wild West-style posturing of Texican presidents either, with track titles like “Burn, Bush, Burn” (has Mr Ayers been to Lewes on Firework Night recently? Always fun for a good bogeyman burning session) and “As If Vietnam Never Happened”, while “Daisycutter” and “Bunker Buster” reflect on the Afghan and Third Gulf War. Musically, matters trip along with a bouncy energy for the most part, rolling breaks keeping the momentum flowing plesantly enough. The technicalities of cut and paste method are kept fairly well foregrounded too, occasionally letting the edits snap out of the mix, though rarely to jarring effect; more often the transition from Dubbed up desert mood to Indie jangle and back and around again is accomplished with a wry sense of deft satisfaction at the ways in which the sounds overlap and contrast.

This is especially effective on “Puchobongo”, where twangy Eastern scales, sampled calls and tablas merge with reflective Dub rhythms to heady effect, one which continues into the following slap-Funk chorale of “Pulsar”. This track sparks into life with the aid of Adam Richardson on the decks, flecked with synth squirms and layered Moroccan loops, and there#s more flavoursome workings to the cyclical HipHop crunch of “Going To The Edge”, which drops a Bluesey element into the mix. Elsewhere, “Sag Alu” samples Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan‘s voice to add spice to a swaying multifaceted hypangogic groove which soon echoes off according to its own particular internal logic. Coming as Ayers does from a multi-cultural British environment too, where curry is as much a national dish as bangers and mash and the cross-pollination of global music of all varieties is a well established practice – for good or ill – Collateral Salvage brings a sharply politicized left-field edge to the familiar sounds of cultures on the move in the digital age.


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