Self-professed purveyors of bass, blips, beeps and beats Noatak comprise of three men, some guitars and an arsenal of synthetic sounds. This four track EP is the first release from the trio, and while showing promise feels just that bit too brief to become fully immersive in the trip the band are attempting to bring the listener on. Rounds kicks things off to a bassy trip-hop start, where siren tones wail, Thom Yorke style vocals intone, and electric guitar slashes and glitchy noises all compete.
In the main it’s a dark soundscape that typifies the EP. Vocals and shimmery effects begin Abomination until drums and harsher effects take over at the midway point. Fear, meanwhile, is darker again, gradually becoming an outright bass drum-driven dance track. The airy vocals are a counterpoint to the darkness in the music throughout, and final track Sea Light is lighter in tone than the preceding three. From a nice, simple melody on the vocal, the song eventually breaks down into an electro-orchestra of various vying noises until the singing comes back in, repeating “Sea light fading”
Strip away the effects on the EP and there are a few nice melodies buried underneath, but it all seems to be centred on the electronic noise and samples. It’s as if there’s barely enough time to engage the listener in the kind of dark vibe they are trying to conjure before it’s all over, especially when the final tune is so much lighter than the rest. Still though, all the ingredients are there for a dense and more expansive listening experience.