Here’s a nice example of the kindness of strangers. I wrote a very brief piece on my record label’s website about Nicoffeine and their “dystopic, potentially harmful guitar noise” after hearing one of their tracks on a Wire magazine compilation CD. Soon afterwards, a member of the band – Jörg Schneider – got in touch to say thanks and to offer me some of their records, if I wanted them.
Did I want them? Why yes, of course! Free records? Never say no to free records. So, in due course, a 12″-sized parcel was delivered, containing not only Nicoffeine’s most recent album, but also a couple of albums by Jealousy Mountain Duo, Jörg’s two-person other project.
The pithy credits on the reverse of No_01 state “Berger | Guitar” and “Schneider | Drums”. Jealousy Mountain Duo are a guitar & drums duo in the vein of Lightning Bolt, but with a far less overdriven and rampant feel. What sound rather like improvised, semi-random clean guitar squawks and repeated rhythmic motifs fuddle their way around beautifully complex and skittering drum patterns that remind me of drumming dervishes like Shoji Hano and Chris Corsano. Across the album’s eight tracks – which include the marvellously-titled ‘David Has Awesome Hair’, the album is a prolonged glimpse into Jealousy Mountain Duo’s soundworld as much as it is a collection of songs/tunes/pieces. Indeed it’s difficult to pick apart the individual tracks at times; the whole work ebbs and flows texturally whilst throwing out endlessly engaging and challenging structures and melodies.
The album is packaged in a nicely-textured card sleeve, with some elegant type (in Futura Light?) over a mysterious photograph. The artwork is by Soheyl Nassary, a member of Nicoffeine with a lot of good-looking work samples on his website.