There must be very few musicians who have bewitched and ignited our ears and senses more than Jona Nido and Luc Hess, and across as many projects. Seeing their names with a band or release stirs up an instant appetite to learn more, all thanks to previous triumphs and dramatic incitements from the likes of Coilguns, KUNZ, The Ocean, The Fawn, Schwarz and…well the list gets longer by the month it seems. Now the Swiss pair has unveiled another fascinating and virulent tempting under the guise of Closet Disco Queen and with a self-titled debut album. Consisting of seven instrumental progressive/psych explorations bred from a fusion of seventies blues rock, stoner and psychedelic rock, kraut and groove rock, to suggest some of the rich hues woven together, the album is an adventure which at times plays like a bedlamic dance party and in others a journey into the darkest, most haunted corners of the soul. Predominantly though it is rock ‘n’ roll to lose yourself within and another inspiring proposal from the sonic and rhythmic imagination of Nido and Hess.
The La Chaux-de-Fonds based pair open up their album with Hey Sunshine! and immediately have ears entangled in a web of melodic and sonic enterprise pierced by sinew swung rhythms. Grooves just spring from the fingers of Nido, instantly pushing away any inhibitions in the listener’s body left from trying to resist the anthemic and intensive shuffle cast by Hess. The music’s unbridled contagion is matched in impact by its smouldering seduction, both ignited further by the spatial warmth and mystery soaking the enthralling start.
The piece flows straight into the dark, haunted embrace of What’s Your 20? next, where compelling yet intimidating shadows ride a raw sonic mist. It immerses ears in a stark yet strangely alluring ambience for a flight into the hidden; a spellbinding slip into the darkest corners of the imagination preying on emotions and the psyche with every provocative breath. It is also the gateway into the instantly dramatic and rousing Caposhi, another heavy duty incitement to send the body squirming and writhing to its virulent drone and hypnotic tapestry of sultrily persuasive noise. The track is pure addiction, a consummate violation and puppeteer of flesh and greed through searing temptations around a robust spine.
A brief sigh of frustration in its leaving escapes as the track twists into the warped rock ‘n’ roll feast Catch You On The Flip Sid, but that is soon forgotten as the new proposition reveals its own rhythmic jungle and sonic trespass sculpted by the psychotic invention of either geniuses or mad men; you will surely choose as the song creates its own asylum of sound and creative mayhem. It is jazzy and funky, avant-garde and psychedelic, all on another seriously enslaving rhythmic tango from Hess, and at nine minutes there is no complaint it has not given the fullest thrilling work-out for ears and soul.
The Shag Wag is soon brewing up its rich and ravenous blues rock blaze, from gentle flames bursting into a furnace of old school and modern rock ‘n’ roll. It is just as potent when slipping into gentler sighs of sound and energy too but at its best when sizzling on the senses and sparking the listener to get fully involved physically and emotionally. Rock music does not get much more incendiary and gripping than this, or frenzies as mouth-watering.
The duo stay with a blues bloomed tone and texture with next up IYD (In Your Dreams), the melancholic caress of the track spun on a sonic breeze of blistering sound and emotive theatre. Though the piece does not ignite the same intensive reactions and endeavour as other encounters within the release, it is an absorbing sea of invention to wallow in and set up the similarly but more imposing soundscape of Black Saber. The closing song expands and blossoms to greater intensity and emotion the essence of its predecessor, and fair to say that blues kiss is another highly emotive shimmer on the surf and psychedelic coloured investigation employed by the track. Across over eleven minutes, the constantly hinting and generally restrained volatile heart of the track does eventually erupt and steer the track into fresh and exhilarating tempests. Every moment sparks a new hunger in ears and appetite, and making its long length a swift passing of dramatic time.
It is probably fair to say that the first half of the Closet Disco Queen album had the biggest and fiercely lasting impact but even its latter trio of creative alchemy and dark fiery emotion alone only ensures the parting thought with every listen is give me more please. Together all tracks just confirm Nido and Hess an adventure which never stops evolving or getting bolder and more impressive.
Closet Disco Queen is available now on ltd 12” clear orange vinyl through This Charming Man Records, Division Records, and Hummus Records and as a name your price download @ https://hummusrecords.bandcamp.com/album/s-t-5