Nihilism Is Pointless – Sebastian Reynolds (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

Having woven his way through some very innovative and interesting musical landscapes over the years, on stage, in the studio and behind the scenes, any new music from Sebastian Reynolds makes a loud ping on the radar of any interested in experimental, forward-thinking music. Nihilism Is Pointless, following very quickly (certainly by modern standards) on the heels of The Universe Remembers, offers 5 more sonic statements which cover a lot of ground and which make this a very eclectic release.

The opening, titular track blends found sound spoken word with restrained beats and bubbling electronica, a gentle and perfect introduction to the more exploratory music-making to follow. Diving Board is an ambient and drifting slice of futurism interspersed with broken beats and rhythmic chaos before the chilling HAL’s Lament allows the unhinged computer of Kubrick’s sci-fi classic to call the tune.

The Silent Majority is a slow-burning blend of distant industrial sound-as-music with dramatic tensions and dystopian vibes and Mother’s Day rounds things off with a strange and otherworldly mix of orchestral sounds and metallic motion, seeming deliberately broken and reassembled into an anagram of itself.

As always, it is a fascinating experience, one which at times feels familiar but more often than not is wonderfully challenging, never quite delivering what the listener expects instead offering them something so much more rewarding. Surely, all music should be doing that?

Listen to Sebastian talking about this, the previous ep and having a very interesting chat with Matthew Duffield of the Faith and Industry label on his podcast.

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