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Album Review

Though Nobody and Mystic Chords of Memory sounds like a quirky name for a band, it's actually a collaborative project between Elvin Estella (who records on his own under the name Nobody) and the duo of Chris Gunst and Jen Cohen, who record as Mystic Chords of Memory. Those familiar with their work as separate entities won't be too surprised by the way they sound as a trio: imagine vague but attractive melodies sung in a gauzy, slightly adenoidal 1960s male whine (multi-tracked for maximum retro-psychedelic effect) and underpinned by weird but highly effective loops and rhythm samples. It's those samples, with their strong but strange beats, that keep the proceedings from descending into insufferableness at several different points on the album: on "Broaden a New Sound" the halting, subtly dubwise rhythms hold your attention and help you realize how subtly pretty the song really is; on the quirkier and multi-layered "Decisions, Decisions," the juxtaposition of a wanky flute and a half-broken beat sets up a pleasing tension. Then there's "Klaw Prints," on which an acoustic guitar and a pronounced two-step beat (not to mention lyrical references to singing coyotes) allude directly to country without unambiguously embracing it. The album ends with more of a whimper than a bang, but up until then everything is just interesting enough to keep you consistently intrigued.


Genre: Hardcore

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Born Elvin Estrela, the boy who would become producer Nobody grew up in Los Angeles, exchanging hip-hop mixtapes with his friends in high school, hanging out at the Good Life Café, and listening to a lot of different music, from rap to '60s psychedelia to electronica, all of which influenced him later on. As an artist he chose to focus on using samples to create his own work, and in 2000 his full-length debut, Soulmates, which featured MCs like Abstract Rude and 2Mex, among others, came out on Ubiquity....
Full Bio
Tree Colored See, Nobody
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