Nitrada We Don’t Know Why But We Do It

[2.nd Rec; 2004]

Styles: IDM, electronica
Others: Dntel, Bjork, Hrvatski, Hood

I've never met Nitrada (better known as Christophe Stoll to family and friends), but if I did, I wouldn't be surprised to discover a man infatuated with bleakness and admiration for seclusion. When listening to his first full-length album, We Don't Know Why But We Do It, it's hard to imagine a man who doesn't spend hours alone in retreat from misty landscapes and dreary surroundings. The music here is so open and vast in atmosphere. Nitrada's respect for space is obvious and may be his most valuable asset. Nitrada is an electronic music composer who is skillful enough to determine when enough is enough.

This spacious quality that Nitrada creates so well is a nod to his crafty discretion. Knowing when to leave a track and spare any further "jazzing up" makes his songs all the more successful. The result of this is nine wonderfully sparse compositions. The atmospheres, which include rudimentary glitches, gentle strings, and ambient guitar work, build mesmerizing soundscapes. When you listen intensively to Nitrada, you realize that there's a lot more going on than what initially meets the ear. Stoll weaves random noises and awkward sounds in and out of each other to the point where the complexion is disguised and the final product is soothing and serene.

Nitrada adds a vocal dimension to some of the songs courtesy of Francesco Cantone, Kaye Brewster, and Nina Sophie Schwabe's appearances. These voices garnish "The Only Solution," "Fading Away," "Like A Souvenir," and "Start Today." The vocals succeed on all the songs, excluding "Fading Away," where they hurt rather than help the ambiance. Schwabe's voice deserves almost as much recognition as the music itself on "Like A Souvenir." The female voice and bittersweet backdrop deliver a Portishead-esque blend.

Though Nitrada made a wise decision in letting some vocals accompany his work, his own studio diligence steals the show. This full-length is a sign of the good things that are sure to come from this selective producer.

1. The Only Solution
2. Everything Is Not Alright
3. We Don't Know Why But We Do It
4. Fading Away
5. No. 4
6. Old Love, New Idea
7. I Fear: Good.
8. Like A Souvenir
9. Start Today