Although he's been churning out music for quite some time now, Neil Wiernik is finally just bursting onto the recording scene in the year 2002. After releasing a full-length album for the limited edition series that Piehead Records produced earlier this year, he has quickly followed it up with another full-length, this time on the excellent smaller label of Noise Factory. He's played shows with Kit Clayton, Monolake, Thomas Jirku, Jake Mandell, and many others, and if you can imagine the previous four artists tossed in a blender and spit out the other side, it's something like you might get with Naw.
Over the course of 8 tracks and just about 40 minutes, the album runs through a stripped-down set of tracks that combine post-house with a touch of dub and some flat out minimal techno. All the tracks on the disc flow into one another nicely, and in some ways it almost feels like a live mix, with only very short breathers between most tracks (or within tracks). "Brittle Sticks" opens the release, and after some really bizarre spoken word samples slowly materialize out of a soft haze, a thick kickdrum comes in and doesn't relent for the remainder. Small stabs and swirls of processed noise make their way in and out of the mix, but it's mainly about finding a wicked groove and working the hell out of it.
"Moist Water Drops" follows up with a slightly more tinny beat while low end pulses threaten to blow speakers and squiggles of what were once melodies drift through the soup. "Humid Untertow" brings the dub influences more into place, and the track absolutely swarms with low-end gurlges while bits of static and noise volley back and forth over the top of it all. Although it's one of the longest tracks on the entire release, "Two A.M. Overcast" is easily one of the most successful. Stripped down to a super-short beat segment, it lopes along hypnotically while distorted squelches coil in the background, ocassionally ringing forward and through the thick mass.
Basically, this is a release for those who like their electronic thick and minimal. Like artists on the Chain Reaction label, it definitely has enough of a pulse to make you want to move your ass, but it's sometimes so cold sounding that the only thing you can imagine dancing to it is an android of some sort. Fans of the aforementioned artists will most definitely find something to like about the disc, or even those who enjoy the minimal work of earlier Plastikman and the Plus 8 crew. Now that Wiernik is on a roll (and Naw is only one name that he performs under), I'll be curious to see what he lets loose from here.