Happy summer! Did you expect a couple new tapes from Third Kind Records, especially since they just graced us with the spectacular WIDDENDREAM by Nikmis and the equally spectacular SELTRAC by International Debris? I sure didn’t, but here I am, stupefied in my glee. The Brighton, UK, label (hey, I’ve wandered down Brighton Pier, etc.!) even doubles down on the Nikmis, flashing some serious street cred when it comes to your baroque synthesizer musicians. I’ve often thought to myself, in the past month or so, gee, if only I had something to listen to by Nikmis after WIDDENDREAM ends. I no longer have to wonder about the answer to that question. The answer is here!


I’m a huge fan of classical music permeating whatever genre or scene I’m digging into, whether it’s Patrick Higgins’s guitar interpretations of Bach or David Kanaga’s interpretation of opera (or something) – heck, there’s an Orange Milk subset that’s all over this classical thing. But Nikmis goes a step further – well, a step in parallel with 10 MOVEMENTS FOR LARGE SYNTHESIZER (1909), a lovely meander through the baroque while often sounding like he’s set up his instrument of choice in a large cathedral. The effect is sort of like a pipe organ, but the timbre throughout betrays its electric origins. Not unlike Wendy Carlos’s SWITCHED-ON BACH, Nikmis plays it straight-faced, simply reveling in the possibilities of marrying the old approaches with new technology. The result is never less than fascinating, as Nikmis proves himself a deft composer and performer, flitting through arpeggios and movements with ease. And this is doubly fortuitous, as the answer to my earlier question is now and always 10 MOVEMENTS. (Plus it has a reversible cover!)


But that begs the next question – what’s next after 10 MOVEMENTS? Well duh, if you’ve bought the batch it’s obviously Crushtrash. RECLAMATION YARD is a reclamation project of sorts for Third Kind, as it comprises the remastered/reissued recordings of a “friend made long ago” – the mid-1990s! God, I remember the mid-1990s. I was into a lot of great music back then, and a lot of stupidly horrible music. Crushtrash stands the test of time, coming off as a mix between Depeche Mode and Morrissey, but a lot darker and a lot synthier. Maybe if Julee Cruise was male? Anyway, the synthpop/darkwave tunes are a nice trip down memory lane, as they’d be perfectly at home popping up on the 1st Wave station I constantly listen to in my car. I’m sure it was a blast for Nick at Third Kind to revisit and beef up his friend’s old tunes – they sound fantastic to this day.

Third Kind Records

--Ryan Masteller