Release Date: Oct 9, 2012
Record label: Plug Research
Genre(s): Electronic, Pop/Rock, Indie Electronic
Thom Yorke claims his new project Atoms For Peace has made an album “where you weren’t quite sure where the human starts and the machine ends”. But Tune-Yards bassist Nate Brenner has beaten him to it. His debut solo effort is loosely based around a vision of post-apocalyptic robots and humans making music out of junk. Suitably warped and wasted, at its most coherent it sounds like Bootsy Collins funking out with a very drunk Gorillaz.
Throughout the 11 songs that make up Naytronix’s newest effort, Dirty Glow, listeners may find themselves reminded of another album: The Flaming Lips’ utterly brilliant Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots. Indeed, the two albums share similar qualities, such as soft pop melodies, elegant orchestral flourishes, and interesting electronica/hip-hop foundations. To be fair, though, Yoshimi… is miles beyond Dirty Glow when it comes to songwriting and emotional power, but Naytronix’s sound is still intriguing—well, for a little while, anyway.
Nate Brenner's side/solo project's debut in 2012 came preloaded with expectations thanks to his work as the bassist for tUnE-yArDs -- at the least, initial feelings were inevitably shaped by the divisive reaction to that group. It makes sense that the fragmentary Dirty Glow took its bow on the Plug Research label, but Naytronix occupies a space where it's hard to say at any point whether the cryptic, choppy performances and compositions are intentionally hard to get ahold of or just simply not quite working. By no means is the album flat-out unlistenable -- in fact, it's precisely because it's so engaging at moments that Dirty Glow as a whole becomes so frustrating in turn.