Switched On – Nathan Fake: Crystal Vision (Cambria Instruments)

by Ben Hogwood

What’s the story?

There is no sub plot to Crystal Vision, Nathan Fake’s sixth album.

The Norfolk-based producer describes his approach as “music for music’s sake – recorded without angles, agendas and themes”. This means a continuation of his energetic electronica, creating powerful minds-eye visions with its bold colours and busy rhythms.

What’s the music like?

Crystal Vision pulses with energy. The music here often feels like part of a bigger machine, especially in the cymbal-rich percussion, which on tracks like Boss Core feels like some sort of euphoric process, the repetitive motion of its beats leading to greater highs.

Vimana is a bracing and colourful track, using its synths to trace bright lights across the sky. Bibled grows inexorably over a thudding breakbeat, while the urgency of Hawk also whips up a storm, while uncannily describing its subject matter.

Wizard Apprentice gives an appropriately cool vocal to The Grass, while the closing Outsider is a busy and rewarding collaboration with Clark that takes a restless, probing single line and spins it out across an urgent beat and a wide sonic panorama, the music becoming ever more dense and thrilling as it progresses.

Does it all work?

Yes, it does – fulfilling Fake’s promise that the music is there for its own sake, creating positive energy and thoroughly rewarding experiences.

Is it recommended?

It is indeed, enthusiastically so – a strong addition to what is now a formidable discography.



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