Since Nudge recorded 2005's Cached, the other projects of the band's members have gone on to quite a bit of success: Honey Owens makes gracefully, sensually trippy music as Valet; Paul Dickow's Strategy bridges the gaps between dub, post-rock, and emotive electronics; and Brian Foote has been one of Kranky's resident producers, working with acts like Lotus PlazaLotus Plaza as well as Valet and Strategy. It seems that time off from Nudge did the band good, because As Good as Gone is some of the trio's finest, most confident work. It's also the band's most focused release, even as it incorporates the attention to textural detail of Elaborate Devices for Filtering Crisis and Cached's futuristic dub excursions with elements of Foote, Dickow, and Owens' other projects.
The name Nudge chose when they formed in the late 1990s turned out to be prescient. Their first few releases, which dabbled in electronic ambience, heavy-beat IDM, and fractured funk, were too schizophrenic to fit the moniker. But on their fourth album, As Good as Gone, the group sticks to gentle pushes and soft prods-- the kind that don't disturb or bruise, but are impossible to ignore.
When after comprehensive listens, a record still evokes the notion of atmospheres or certain immeasurable landscapes, one can’t help but wonder if this is a plus or a minus for the record and artist. Has the record managed to dig deep into the listener’s subconscious, setting up shop within resources only few could hope to tap? Or has the record pigeonholed itself as a piece of mood music, only seemingly attainable with the aid of external factors? Naturally, this depends from record to record. As Good as Gone, the fourth LP from the impossible to contain Nudge, features an ebb and flow that remains so daunting yet fresh that it won’t be leaving your subconscious anytime soon.
As Good As Gone, Nudge’s fourth full-length, arrives 4 years after their previous album, 2005’s Cached, and a plethora of activity from its contributors. Brian Foote, the only member who plays on all of the tracks here, has been putting together some DJ mixes as Leech, running the small label Audraglint, touring with friends’ projects, and mixing/producing the likes of Atlas Sound and Lotus Plaza. Paul Dickow has been busy releasing albums by his textural electronics project Strategy, running the small label Community Library, and playing and DJing around Portland.