Candi Nook: How I Invented Sound And Redesigned The Human Ear 2xCD (Spleencoffin, 2022)

October 30, 2022 at 6:17 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Candi Nook: How I Invented Sound And Redesigned The Human Ear 2xCD

U.K. artist Candi Nook released a handful of cassettes and CD-Rs from 1998 to 2005, and she was in a group called the Shite Girls. That’s more or less everything I know about the artist based on this collection and Discogs, but the audio contained on these discs is a treasure trove of amazing oddities, revealing its composer to be a curious and creative noisemaker. The tracks from the earliest releases are definitely in the noise realm, but it’s the type of noise that incorporates silly voices and rhythmic loop samples as well as harsh feedback. Around 2002, her work gets way more synth-heavy, from not-quite-techno to music for a makeshift space station. “Dreamfeed” is a massive mood shift, a haunted nightmare world consisting almost entirely of eerie, reversed voices and other sorts of squeaks or chirps. Candi Nook is the type of artist who will name a lovely ambient piece “Stinkdrone”, as a previously unreleased track attests. A bit more conceptual is “It Flies”, a bizarre collage of ticking clocks, computerized voices, and operatic wailing. “onward” and “TOOTHACHE” are variations on the same theme, with a clock-chiming synth melody and a playfully menacing attitude. “Maybee” is a twitchy technoid track with calming accordion-like droning. “Saskatchewan” is sort of close to what I guess people call “comfy synth” now (I’m guessing, I’ve never listened to it), and “Teaspoon” is a fun caper with cartoon sound effects and whimsical melodies. There’s a lot of humorous tracks on here but Candi Nook’s music gets deep when it needs to. Well worth exploring.

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