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Don Nino - On The Bright Scale

  by Mark Rowland

published: 14 / 3 / 2005

Don Nino - On The Bright Scale
Label: Prohibited Records
Format: CD


Grumpy folk rock from French multi-instrumentalist Don Nino in the vein of Adem, Iron and Wine and Devendra Banhart.

Frenchman Don Nino, aka Nicolas Laureau, is a new folky in the vein of Adem, Iron and Wine and, to a degree, Devendra Banhart. A multi-instrumentalist, he plays every instrument on ‘On the Bright Scale’ and even created its artwork. One of the obvious influences on the album, like most new folk singers, is Nick Drake. Although Drake’s style can be heard in the album, it has, however, been fused with many other sources of inspiration. Laureau is obviously a fan of lo-fi and post-rock music, and as a result tries to create a soundscape that is both laid back and intense, quietly building up a sound that makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end while you’re trying to relax. ‘Out of There’ is one of the most directly driving tracks; repetitive minor-based guitar and piano lines, with what sounds like a typewriter as a percussion instrument. ‘Always like That’ has a similar intensity to it, but with a jauntier rhythm and underlying samples. The over-all feel is like being pissed off on summer’s day: it’s nice out but you can’t help feeling a bit grey. It’s great that Laureau can put this forward in his music: the way he switches from major to minor parts on songs like ‘Eli Said’ is almost classically influenced. This could be said of influential tracks like ‘Rendez-vous’, which could’ve been taken off the ‘Amelie’ soundtrack if the film wasn’t so up-beat. ‘She’s Back in Town’ lets the tension drop away and is welcomed with open arms. Maybe by that point Laureau was so caught up in how nice the day was that he’d forgotten why he was pissed off in the first place. He’d remembered by closer ‘The Silver Tracks’, however; an intense spoken word track that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Tortoise record. Feeling a bit miffed on a bright sunny day? Stick ‘On the Bright Scale’ on your record player, sit back and stew in your grumpiness while everyone else (annoyingly) enjoys the warmth.

Track Listing:-
1 A thousand lights
2 On the bright scale
3 Out of there
4 Save my language
5 Goutte d'or experience
6 Seasons seeds seas
7 Always like that
8 Eli said
9 Do the skies
10 Rendez vous
11 She's back in town
12 The silver tracks

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