It’s difficult to imagine Nihiti as a physical form, their electronic ambient solitude is more a natural occurrence than a carefully constructed soundscape made by human beings. This, their sophomore, follows the murky trail only glimpsed at on their debut Other People’s Memories.
So as Ankhmazes chimes and a digital swarm close in on your personal space, it breathes with a dark hum that resonates through the record. Thankfully they’ve immersed almost the complete set: even the Marissa Nadler cover Ghosts and Lovers wanders in and out of consciousness.
There are glimmers from the rays outside, most notably on Eisenbahnstrasse, January 1st 1946, whose glistening guitars and clear synths sound like there may be a new awakening in store. Yet the tape soon perishes and the pitches bend to an irreparable state.
You wonder if the musician, who along with the enlisted Berlin-based visual/sound artist Viktor Timofeev, left a series of magnets adjacent to the computer’s insides just to see what happened. Often the effects and sounds bounce off the solid, dank walls until they implode.
The vocalised, beat-driven Sun Shatterer does stray from the blackness – the words “and God says no” suitably bleak – yet the voice is too clear, threatening to break the spell. It doesn’t work. Closer Hymn Divisions meanwhile is an effective apocalypse, the low-down pulsating beat shadows the overdriven organ’s monotone swells and retreats – the notes unable to climb or fall. A euphoric nightmare if you will.
Nihiti’s willingness to submerge their sound, isolating the listener through the music, is to be applauded. The fact that most of this record is highly listenable when it really shouldn’t be is something I am still trying to get my head around.