For all those who wanted to know what sweaty electro dance performed by a Serbian/Greek act sounded like, PNDC and housework (AKA Predrag Nedic and Athanassios Vavaroutas) have consistently provided the answer. Make no mistake though, this is as far removed as possible from trashy European music and is chiefly noteworthy for tight rhythms and housework’s breathless vocals. ‘Nothing In The Sky’ is further proof that you don’t need to be in the same room together to make music work (infact the two protagonists have never even met).
That said, the start is a little awkward. ‘Tight Rope’ takes up the challenge with some disorientating organ swirls, distorted production and general air of confusion. Then housework brings out the ever faithful croon for the snail-paced ‘Go Quiet’ but it’s another song which quietly seethes rather than stirs the emotions. Patently, this is not pop music.
The title track redresses the balances and is definitely one of the most mesmeric offerings. Against a backdrop of subtle atmospherics, the duo create a track that is intelligent, unsettling and romantic all at once. ‘Sunset Over Empty Towns’ is another piece which favours the less is more approach whereas the emotive ‘Gentleman’ brings back memories of Japan’s ‘Ghosts’. Elsewhere, ‘European Day Of You’ even boasts something approaching a happy chorus and ‘Touch Of Mad’ is like a revival of the twosome’s unique twist on club music.
PNDC and housework have always operated on the experimental end of electronic music but here they sound more eerie and adventurous than ever. At times, the icy surface can serve to alienate the listener but the further one gets into the album, the better it becomes.
Tarwater, Depeche Mode, Colder, DK7