The multifaceted, mercurial NKOS move at a glacial yet deliberate pace, traversing a decade via their origins as clubbing friends onward to creatively spectacular recording sessions resulting in complex rhythms, beats, and melodies. At long last, NKOS debuts their new EP, the dystopian From Dust To Life, out now via their own label Beatbuzz Records.
Four artists from very different backgrounds and locations on the planet, NKOS are bonded by friendship, the internet, and a love of edgy electronica. Flavio Manieri, Chris Shape, Nancy Natali, and Marcus Billeri blend lush vocals, old-school musicianship, and DJ skills with a love of all things 4AD and nightclubbing. Their dense sound and diverse influences forge edginess with harmony, synth with techno, and industrial with electro. Maurizio Baggio (The Soft Moon; Boy Harsher), mixed and mastered this album; Jagz Kooner (Massive Attack, Primal Scream, Manics, Rammstein) brought additional production on three tracks on the album.
Featuring the dark, seductive vocals of singer/songwriter Nancy Natali,From Dust To Life opens with the dizzying The Cockroaches Dance. The Meekness of Happy follows with a pulsating beat, similar to the hypnotic vibe of Boy Harsher. Lonely Ghost-Self’s kinetic, harrowing beats delve into the abyss of abandonment, grief, solitude, and pain. The pace picks up with the Depeche Mode-soaked Collodi’s Son, a standout, portentous banger with harsher male vocals barking through the intro. Little Miss Numb takes inspiration from the 80s-90s New Wave and English trip-hop, boldly balancing light and dark. Can’t Wait filters through to “the tastemakers, commercialization and soundtrack compilers with indecent haste”, says the band. BOW (Brave Old World) ominously percolates with shadowy synth-laden grooves.
The video for The Meekness Of Happy was shot in Rome by Italian artist Mr.Renzoff last summer. The song is a melange of dream pop, indie, shoegaze, and electronica, conjuring all the magical underground vibes of the deranged and dreamlike Lynchian era of the early 90s alternative scene.
From Dust to Life is out now digitally and in a limited edition cassette run, packed in metal tins. You can order the album via Bandcamp.