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Naynt – “Naynt” Review

Naynt is the artistic name of Simon Gross, a composer whose music is in a similar vein to game music but he also crosses various genres and likes to mix and match genres over an electronic background.

His free album “Naynt” showcases his skills which you get immediately with “Colossal” which features a stomping, if overbearing beat over lots of downcast synth strings and pads whilst various vocal snippets and displayed throughout. The drum beat hits so hard it distorts the rest of the mix – something that does impact the album in a number of places. “Cultures Collide” is a fascinating merger of monk prayer, sitars, trip hop and soul diva singing. It verges onto something Moby would make in his more ambient days. “Naive to Think” takes things a little grittier with a more rap edged track however I recognise the vocal samples from my days mucking around with the E-Jay series. I did wonder why some of the samples seem random! “Africa Brazil” is a more successful mix of warped chants over slick if generic electronica but the sounds merged are interesting to listen to.

“Saphire” was one of two tracks that made me seek out the album and they still stand out as the two best tracks. There’s no production errors, the different effects, vocal samples and downcast down beats all fit perfectly with your monk chanting backing vocals. “Masked Ball” is too successful with its warped vocals and almost classical symphony of keyboards and big tom drums. It certainly stands out as different to anything else. “Loop Chemistry” didn’t do anything for me at all because the music again distorts and falls about around your ears the instruments all fight for the same sound space. Closer “Aura” was the second stand out track with its electronic Nightwish edges to it with piercing electric guitars and angelic vocal ad-libbing.

What this album has taught me is that sometimes bad production can really take away from an album. At least four tracks have noticeable noise problems where the instruments are peaking and distorting. It’s a terrible shame because there’s an idea in here with all the merging of different genres and it could work really well if the right jigsaw pieces were placed together. Sadly Naynt hasn’t quite made the right puzzle here and while there’s some flashes of brilliance, its swamped in flaws too.

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