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We Don't Know Why But We Do It

We Don't Know Why But We Do It
(2.nd Rec)

The second release from Nitrada, We Don't Know Why But We Do It is a mixture of warm electronics, vocals, and sometimes punchy beats. It's largely a melancholy album, sounding something like more reclusive and less bubbly Morr Music effort, or maybe like Hood without quite as much of a band feel. After a solo debut, main man Christophe Stoll decided to collaborate via mail with several different artists, and while the different additions have allowed a little light to seep in around the corners, this 9 track and 40-minute effort still mainly feels like it was composed for dark, cold nights.

The opener of "The Only Solution" sets a lovely tone, swirling with swells of manipulated strings as metallic pong hits far off in the distance like some piece of machinery chugging away. Stoll himself adds some hushed vocals, and the whole thing slides abruptly into "Everything Is Not Alright." Again layers of soft drones shift over one another, but this time a clickly, sometimes scratchy beat pops underneath and delayed piano melodies provide a somewhat melancholy refrain.

One of the best tracks on the album is also the most dense. "No. 4" builds from a glitchy guitar melody into a huge mass of sound as radio broadcast samples, static, guitar, and minimal percussion all bleed together into a beautiful mass of slowly-shifting sound. Perhaps the range of contributors also helped make the album a bit all-over-the-place. "Old Love, New Idea" is a slow, filtered string piece that works with subtle manipulations of sound while "Like A Souvenir" is much more straightforward, thumping along into dark trip-hop territory (with vocals that feel just a bit too soulful for the rest of the release). If you enjoy slightly dour electronic music, there are definitely some stunning moments here, but it feels like it could have used a bit more focus.

Rating: 6.5