In 2006, Nathan Fake enchanted many with his debut ‘Drowning In A Sea Of Love’, an evocative tribute to the English county of Norfolk. ‘Hard Islands’ is more likely to provoke than evoke since Fake has laid on a set of confrontational techno tunes this time around.
‘The Turtle’ seems to have been imported directly from the night club rather than the picturesque countryside. ‘Basic Mountain’, via its use of primary-coloured analog synths, has the vibe of Black Moth Super Rainbow sans vocoders, even though its repetitive hook soon slips from memory whereas ‘Castle Rising’ is not the stately grandiose tune that its title promises; instead it’s a lengthy passage of squiggly electronica.
Fortunately, ‘Narrier’ is haunting and a little deeper; bringing to mind early Kraftwerk via its primitive sounds. Then ‘Fentiger’ ends the record in a blissed-out state, unlike much that has preceded it.
Ultimately, ‘Hard Islands’ is nowhere near as thought-provoking as ‘Drowning In A Sea Of Love’ since it is largely hamstrung by heavier, less human characteristics. However, it is redeemed by moments of mystery that will reach out to non-technoheads.
Black Moth Super Rainbow, Cursor Miner, Boards Of Canada