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The Beast


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Nathan Michel

The Beast

format: CD | catalogue: sonig 46CD | year: 2005

Released in collaboration with Dat Poltics' label Skipp Nathan Michel's third album "The Beast" (sonig 46CD). After two brilliant albums on Tigerbeat6, Nathan Michel is coming back with an even more great album on which he is playing all instruments himself. His beautiful music is supported on some tracks by the delicate voice of Amber Papini.

Releasedate: April 25, 2005

sonig 46CD
CD, Digipack
UPC Code: 6 55035 13462 8


1. Dust
2. Planet
3. The beast
4. A to B
5. Ram
6. Status Dive
7. Suds
8. Simple Animal
9. Ermasel
10. Cricket

Total playing time: 41'59"

I know of few people that really understand music on all its levels like Nathan Michel. He's been working on his doctorate in music composition at Princeton University, one of the most elite universities in the world, for the past several years and seems to be able to play almost any instrument as well. (On 'The Beast' he plays: acoustic, electric, nylon string, and bass guitars, bongos, computer, drum set, egg shakers, hand claps, harmonica, keyboards, leaf crunch, marimba, melodica, piano, recorder, tambourine, vibraphone, vocals, vocoder, and whistles.) Simultaneously, he released two brilliant glitch pop records on the Tigerbeat6 label, 'ABC def' and 'Dear Bicycle', to great critical success but limited exposure. But the thing about Nathan -past all of this- is that his music really has a generous, friendly vitality that is almost absent in today's music.

His newest album, 'The Beast', is like a 10-song best friend. Each song has an amazing complexity and listenability; peppered with pop-hooks like so many 70's rock staples you can still hum today. On 'The Beast', Nathan expands and elaborates on his previous vocal work, layering his voice and harmonies, and further develops his own quirky lyricism, perhaps best heard on the album's title track. Also expanded are the aforementioned diversity of instrumental sounds, and the arrangement of this digital and acoustic orchestra to such tight pop-structure.

Like many unique artists, Nathan Michel is hard to classify. His music is rooted almost entirely in acoustic instruments, but all are recorded separately, edited, processed and rearranged in the computer to leave a slightly digital feel. This puts Nathan simultaneously among the company of laptop deviants like Dat Politics and Max Tundra as well as the true masters of studio recording like Todd Rundgren, Jeff Lynne, and Brian Wilson. Perhaps one is reminded of Brian Wilson and Burt Bacharach in Michel's intricate harmonies, dense instrumental layering, and amazingly avant-pop congeniality. While it should be taboo to mention these great masters of popular music in comparison to today’s music, Nathan Michel easily deserves to be regarded in their company. It is obvious that 'The Beast' should be considered the next logical step in the timeless music of humanity.
(Jason Forrest)