- Nathan Fake's latest album, Providence, is a reference to the gear used to make the album—Korg's Prophecy synth—and his belief in a kind of guiding hand that led him out of a year-long bout of writer's block. (His last album, Steam Days, came out five years ago.) Providence is a notable sonic shift for Fake, whose confidence seems renewed. The wide-eyed electronica of Drowning In A Sea of Love, from 11 years ago, has grown more urgent and aggressive.
Gone, for the most part, are the yearning cinematic vistas of his youth, reflected in older tracks like "Charlie's House" or "The Sky Is Pink." Providence is more beholden to greyscale textures and noisy blurts of sonic unease. Aspects of the album reflect the cathedral hymn blasts of artists like Tim Hecker or Ben Frost, and the album's lead single, "DEGREELESSNESS," enlists Prurient for a rain-soaked exercise in dance floor dystopia.
Elsewhere, the tellingly titled "Feelings 1," with its boiling electronics and short clips of distortion, is a sonic snarl, and the warbling synths and martial drums of the title track that follows seem to take the equivalent of a deep breath. There's a sense of hostility and frustration to these tracks, particularly on the squealing tones of "SmallCityLights," as close as Fake might get to an '80s stadium guitar solo. Beyond the acquisition of new equipment, it's unclear what's led to this change in approach—perhaps he'd accomplished all he could with the pastoral excursions of past records. Providence marks a muscular new path for Fake, but he sounds as singular as always.
01. Feelings 1
04. DEGREELESSNESS feat. Prurient
05. The Equator & I
08. Radio Spiritworld
10. RVK feat. Raphaelle
12. Feelings 2