Lost in Reflections – Black Needle Noise (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

Lost_In_Reflections_(album_cover).jpgAny album which bills itself as “music for movies you haven’t dreamt of yet” is going to blip on this dream-poppers radar that’s for sure and not just blip but blip and resonate, shimmer and fade…luckily I have my radar plugged into a Big Muff and reverse reverb pedal for just such an occasion. John Fryer, the man behind the excellently named Black Needle Noise even uses the same hybrid language as me…”grindtronica overtones…ambient black magic….sonic sculptures” I think we are going to get along just fine.

Lost in Reflections is built on shimmering and ethereal pop, familiar yet otherworldly, as if some alien culture has heard our radio waves emanating into the cosmic ether, decided that pop music is our common language and has built this musical package as a way of trying to communicate with us.

It shifts between hazy, smoke–like drifts built more on emotion than musical substance and razor edged gothic drama, it writes scenes and conjures scenarios from very specific places such as “6am in cold Berlin” to dream like, existential journeys. It tempers industrial grind into stark beauty, it layers gossamer thin textures into opaque hues, it matches weight against the wait, the brutal with the beguiling.

But I guess Fryer’s ability to make musical worlds collide and reassemble the smashed pieces into new forms should come as no surprise. As a producer and engineer he has worked with an array of artists from The Cocteau Twins to Nine Inch Nails and alongside 4AD label boss Ivo Watts-Russell founded the in-house collective This Mortal Coil. Lost in Reflections shows that John Fryer is as exploratory and imaginative as he ever was.


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