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Level Live Wires

Odd Nosdam

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Album Review

David Madson's Odd Nosdam turns his Level Live Wires album "On" with a wash of synths, then turns it "Off" precisely 40 minutes later in the same fashion. In between times, the sample master and found sound maestro entrances listeners with a collage of sounds, rhythms, and melodies, that coalesce into some of the most intriguing music you'll ever hear. Some of it's short and sharp, like "Blast," which seems to circle around a fuzzy radio wave emanating from the '60s, a blast from rock's past indeed. Others float off on warm, dozy thermals of synths, like "Fat Hooks," soaring ever higher on heavenly vocals. "The Kill Tone Two" is its urban version, which adds violin and rap vocals. "Burner," in contrast, is as aggressive as they come, built around a looped blaring horn, which, with the percussive booms and breaking glass, is actually the sound of a burning car, and Nosdam transforms it into an off-kilter piece, quavering with threat and anxiety, much like being caught in a mid-town traffic jam with a lunatic banging on your car hood, while Hood's Chris Adams' vocals try to bring a calming influence to the chaos. Skipping rhythms predominate, notably on "Kill Tone" and "Up in Flames," giving even the warmest and thickest synth filled atmospheres a ragged edge. That later number skips around genres as well, feeding in a slice of Latin flare and a shred of hip-hop scratching to the mix, as well as spoken word, a snippet of singing, and disco styled vocals, tossing in a bit of grand piano to boot. From blurry dub and chill to doom-laden pieces, ambient sweetness to street noise effects, Nosdam's sounds and samples swirl round and round, coalescing into ever more surprising aural shapes and moods. A fascinating musical ride that defies any attempt at categorization.


Born: 1976 in Cincinnati, OH

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Born David Madson in Cincinnati, OH, in 1976, producer Odd Nosdam first began experimenting with looping as a teenager, which eventually led to the purchase of a Dr. Sample and eight-track player while he was a student at the Art Academy of Cincinnati. Soon he was working with future labelmates Doseone and Why? (with whom he formed cLOUDDEAD), and in 2001 his debut, Plan 9: Meat Your Hypnotist, came out on Mush Records. Odd Nosdam then moved to California to become part of the Anticon team, producing...
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Level Live Wires, Odd Nosdam
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