Nick Nicely has orbited at the edges of the mainstream for a long time. Now, the electronic music pioneer is poised to offer up a new record. Sleep Safari, out Friday on Tapete Records, is a collection of sleek and supple space rock, a taste of the future from a voice from the past.
Numbers like "Rainmaker" and "Sound Of The Moon" find Nick cooing and purring over rippling keyboards and spacious soundscapes, the effect not entirely unlike some odd mix of Leonard Cohen and New Order. On a few cuts here, like "Souvenir" and "Gliding (Call Centre Splendour)", Nicely adds in a vaguely percolating beat to make things bounce just this side of the dance music spectrum, while he takes things down again for the lovely "Heaven's Kate", all "Learning To Fly"-era Floyd with a good deal more melody and heart. Elsewhere, stuff like "Dance Away" bears favorable comparison to early O.M.D. and late-period Butterfly Child, 2 acts that surely took some inspiration from Nick's Seventies recordings.
Sleep Safari, out Friday on Tapete Records, is an affecting mix of a few sub-genres in a package that seems wholly unique. This is proof that electronic music can be just as authentic for expressing emotion as any musical form.