näo has cast a spell on excited listeners for years, proven by brilliantly received live performances and audio releases. after two years of anticipation ant-zen and audiotrauma proudly present their fourth full length album 'duel' - a new chapter in the history of this extraordinary french project which includes six new tracks as well as three magnificent remixes by artists they’ve become friends with.
an intriguing intro carried by suspenseful electronics and alienated voices is only the prelude to a breathtaking sonic surplus of puissant bass lines, sharp guitar riffs, pushing beats and majestic synths. in continuous progression of intensity, quiet meditative parts turn into intoxicating outbursts of power and volume. basic elements of advanced experimental electronics, industrial, post- and prog rock are alchemically interlocked in a most perfect way which is näo's unquestioned trademark.
on the remixes of tracks previously released on 'III', three french projects deliver fresh components while keeping näo's specific sound characteristics: dub-based drums and predominant bass on matkalybrid's version of 'evol', dead hippies turning 'barnsa' into a fast synth-oriented heavy electro rock tune almost doubling the original track's speed, and a pounding idm interpretation of 'kitab' by 2methyl (aka 2methylbulbe1ol).
I slept on this album for far too long! After finally downloading it, I quickly realized what a beast of a recording it is. The album cover perfectly sets the scene for this Eastern infused dark ambient recording, which is becoming one of my favorite Cryo Chamber collaboration releases! I highly recommend this one!! David Loveless