Those damn English have been sheltering Nedry from America for too long! After self-releasing this gorgeous debut album in 2009, Monotreme Records (65daysofstatic’s long-time home) picked up the rights and gave it a proper UK release back in February, with a Stateside release this past April 20th.

It’s about time. Nedry’s lush sound, courtesy of producers Matt Parker and Chris Amblin, pulls from just about everywhere in British electronica and unites it all under the banner of vocalist Ayu Okakita. Shooting for the moon and landing somewhere between Portishead’s Beth Gibbons and Blonde Redhead’s Kazu Makino, her dreamy, sensual musings tie every sub-bass wobble, acoustic guitar sample, and glitched rhythm together in a sumptuous package.

Condors covers an almost frightening amount of sonic ground over its spartan 8-track, 31 minute runtime. ‘A42’ opens amongst a flurry of glitches and distant pads, before Okakita’s croon and an ever-satisfying oscillating dubstep bass line hit at the same moment and take the steering wheel. ‘Apples & Pears’ follows a somewhat similar pattern, with an acoustic guitar sewing a thread amongst the melancholy vocal line until the song’s distinctly Burial-esque midsection drops in something like an evil turn in an otherwise pleasant dream.

After a quick and pretty ambient interlude, Condors makes its first left turn with the introduction of some menacing distortion and the first electric guitars on ‘Squid Cat Battle’. Okakita pulls off a surprisingly convincing La Roux impression and, while the song comes in danger of slipping a few times, mostly holds intact. The angry streak continues onto the instrumental track ‘Scattered’, a vicious burner much in the style of labelmates 65daysofstatic, but with a fervor and energy we haven’t seen from that band since the middle of the decade. The title track returns to the more trip-hop/dubstep influence of the first part of the album, but with a renewed urgency in the drum programming and a late electric guitar appearance.

Condors ends on a high note, with the aptly titled ‘Swan Ocean’s lilting, melodic grace calling to mind the earlier works of Four Tet or Dntel. As always, Ayu carries the track with a quiet confidence. Glitchy instrumental closer ‘Where The Dead Birds Go’ is a fitting bookend; a landing strip where you can check for all your belongings and marvel at the fact that you’ve only been soaring the skies for a mere half-hour.

Very rarely are debut albums this adventurous and confident. Don’t miss out on this one.

FOR FANS OF: Portishead, Burial, Massive Attack, 65daysofstatic

WATCH: ‘Swan Ocean’

LISTEN: ‘A42’

PURCHASE from Monotreme Records

Brian B.

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