Narel returns to the Bonzai stable after a bit of a hiatus with the superb album Losing Adequacy. We last saw this hugely talented artist over on our Green Martian imprint with The View At 2 AU back in 2014. But, since then he has shown up on remix duties for Alfonso Muchacho’s Darkosaur on Bonzai & Friends 500. Melbourne based Narel aka Nick Simmons became fascinated by electronic music after hearing Jean Michel Jarre’s Oxygene aged 5. At 15 he began experimenting with samplers and sequencers and in time added synthesizers to his setup. What was a hobby became a bit more serious in 2010 when his first tracks were released on the Bonzai Progressive imprint Fourty 5. After over 30 releases across multiple labels his first album is finished and more original tracks are remixes are always in production. The Narel sound is rooted in oldskool progressive, progressive house, ambient and downtempo.
The album opens with pulsing wave as rich and warm pads fade slowly in only to be joined by sweet melodic strings and earthly FX. A tight arrangement of breaks steal the vibe taking us on a sublime journey of contrasting sounds making Pulse Garden the perfect opener for the journey ahead. Next up is The Void Which Binds with its deliberate nod to Jarre and other electronic music pioneers. Droning bass pads and cosmic synths are the order of the day here and make for a truly surreal experience. Circle Sky is next and delivers a wonderfully epic ambient groove. Swirling pads set us off and soon make way for the most beautiful array of synths, pads and strings creating an emotional and euphoric piece of music. Huge climaxes come in wave after wave as the track ebbs and flows pulling at every emotional string in your being, simply divine. Return Of The Northerlies is our first glimpse at Narel’s progressive house prowess on this album. A wonderfully crafted slice of oldskool prog filled with driving beats, hypnotic basslines, authentic acid lines and heaps of melodies, just WOW, superb stuff. We get a respite in the form of the ambient Re-Arecibo at the midway before going mid-level tempo on I Need Recalibrate with its strong bass structure and fantastic synth patterns. The deceptive Our Surface Dances intros with the most wonderfully peaceful ambience before we’re thrust into full on drum n bass like drum pattern creating a mesmerizing hybrid joint that will not disappoint. Find The Quiet Places is another dive into the progressive world and once again the groove is spot on. Rich in melodies and driven by a tight drum and bassline combo this one is destined for the floors no doubt. Plaji gives off a smooth downtempo vibe before we hit the floors again with the delicious Re-Run with its full on prog mode switched to 11. We finish up with the serene, lush vibes of A Victim Of Circumstance, the perfect ending to an inspiring and thought provoking album.
One thing is for sure, this album will be praised by all as a masterclass in production, arrangement, composition and simply as a damn fine collection of tracks.