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The Nommos - Primal Meltdown


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The Nommos - Primal Meltdown


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"Primal Meltdown" is the second album from the Nommos, who consist of über-hippie Goa Gil and his wife Ariane MacAvoy aka Nimba. According to the press release, "their aspiration is to redefine the ancient tribal ritual for the 21st century." I have no idea whether they have succeeded, but I do know that they have produced a pretty sweet album. Some general comments before I give a brief track-by-track description: on the whole this is fairly familiar territory for dark psy, albeit with more emphasis on ethnic sounds and tribal percussion than you will find in most places. What sets it above most of the similar stuff coming out at the moment is how well produced it is. Like most of the best dark psytrance this is music that could fool you into thinking that it is a lazy mess of noise the first few times you hear it; it's only with repeated listens that one starts to hear just how much love has gone into this cd. Mind-bending noises morph seemlessly into other mind-bending noises, blink-and-you-miss-it effects shoot past your ears, and intricate drum patterns confuse the hell out of you. There is an awful lot going on, and most impressively it has all been worked into one coherehent whole.




#1: Shamans Laugh


The first track is pretty standard fare, most reminiscent of the track "In the Shadow" from Gil's 2005 mix album "Karmageddon" (it even features a similar grunting sample). There is little overall direction to this one, but it does have some very nice noises and works well as an opener.


#2: Dance or Die


This track opens with a scary, atonal bassline that wouldn't sound out of place on a Baphomet Engine cd, and proceeds to assault the senses with some extremely abrasive high-pitched crunching sounds; aural sandpaper is the best way I can describe it. It's potentially painful, but an enjoyable pain if you're into that kind of thing, although this track would probably be wasted on a less good sound system.


#3: Dark Tunnel (Birthday Blues)


"Someday the Sun is gonna die, and the whole fucking solar system is gonna go plop, but there ain't no forever, y'know" babbles the Nommos' mate Eight-Finger Eddie. Musically this track is another scary bassline covered in a load of the kind of noises one might hear if one were force-fed acid before being blindfolded and tied to a chair in an abandonned warehouse.


#4: Magma


This, to my mind, is where the album starts to get really interesting. This track has a simple enough formula, but is so perfectly executed: a familiar dark psy rhythm is embedded into a very nice swirling sound that builds and builds, then diminishes for a while before coming back, then building up into the most fantastic echoey wall of noise I've heard in a long time. Lovely.


#5: The Forest Never Sleeps


Another great track, and the best example on this cd of what it is that the Nommos do better than anyone else around. It largely revolves around a crunchy noise that comes in huge tidal waves that bowl the listener over, before evaporating into something that almost resembles a melody. Outstanding. Over the course of the whole track there is little progression or build up, but it sounds so good at any given instant that that really doesn't matter.


#6: Iboga


We now enter territory that is similar to that of the last couple of songs, but considerably more upbeat. There is even something that could be considered a "catchy hook", in the form of a happy bird-like chanting. Almost certainly an uplifting dance-floor pleaser.


#7: Djembe Folie


The intention of this piece of music seems to be to simulate taking part in some kind of tribal ritual while coming up on a very strong hallucinogen. It begins with some chanting and drumming that start out sounding normal enough before becoming gradually more messed up, eventually giving way completely to a mass of electronica. It's fast and comlpicated, and I must admit I actually found it rather difficult to follow when I was under the influence of something relatively mild.


#8: San Dance


Another straightforward concept that's been masterfully executed, this track is built around a metallic sound of which it's impossible to say whether the pitch is going up or down at any one time. Apart from an interuption by a boy shouting anxiously in a language I don't know, it continues in that vein for the whole song.


#9: Blood Sacrifice


Think you were going to make it through an entire psytrance album without hearing a Matrix sample? Think again. Like the opening number this lacks any overall build up, but is filled with very nice sounds. Less attention grabbing than the rest of the album, I suppose it's as close as the Nommos get to ending a record with a relaxing chillout track.




Thoroughly recommended. If you found yourself getting sick of dark psytrance in 2006 as the market became saturated with similar sounding artists, then hopefully this is an album to remind you why the genre was a good idea in the first place. 9/10


This is my first review. Constructive criticism welcome.

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Thoroughly recommended. If you found yourself getting sick of dark psytrance in 2006 as the market became saturated with similar sounding artists, then hopefully this is an album to remind you why the genre was a good idea in the first place. 9/10




I totally agree with most of what you said.


This album feels in a lot of ways different from the rest of releases, kinda more intimate or more thoguhtful.


killer album, deffinately a MUST HAVE!!!!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Simply amazing!!!

Even if you hate this kind of Psy it's impossible not to be surprised by the amount of quality this release has.

It seems that Gil and Ariane worked for months for each track! No kidding, this is a piece of hard work! :blink:

The music is different too, it's not the typical dark psy. It's forest and alien at the same time, filled with amazing effects and weird sounds all the time. It's mean, pure dark and evil but also extremelly trippy. It's perfect for outdoor parties but you have to listen to it using your headphones too.


One of the best modern dark albums together with Derango, Psykovsky and Mubali.



Goa Gil congratulations!

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